We have sold another property despite the virus doom and gloom. This recently listed ranch is now under contract and we’re closing in on a couple of others. I don’t attribute this real estate purchase to the coronavirus scare, but rather folks recognizing outstanding properties here in western North Carolina and acting on them. But what of the coronavirus and real estate?
First, I don’t want to downplay the seriousness of it, but I’m still in the “not worried” category. Why? Several reasons. I have close family contacts in Asia that have been living there for years (going back generations) and what I’m hearing isn’t as alarming as what we’re getting here in the US. I’ve also been tracking the hard numbers behind the headlines, that is, the raw data and not the nightly news top story which is repeatedly alarmist. Things could certainly get worse (hoping they don’t), and case numbers will most likely rise here in the US (no doubt), but according to the WHO and CDC, the number of Active Cases worldwide has dropped every day since February 17th at 58,747 to March 3rd at 39,223. Click here to see the data. Have you heard that on the news? Nope.
Have you heard that deaths from influenza (“the flu”) here in the US alone have topped 18,000 this season? Don’t believe me? Check out the CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report ending February 22nd. According to the CDC’s latest report, total influenza cases in the United States alone this 2019-2020 flu season have resulted in “at least 32 million flu cases” (the CDC’s words, not mine), 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths. How does this compare to cases and deaths of coronavirus here in the US since January 1st: 106 cases and 6 deaths. Granted, that number is expected to rise, and this is comparing five months to two, but divide 106 by 32 million and what kind of percentage do you get? But here’s another reason why I believe it won’t be as bad here in the US as in China.
From personal knowledge, the air quality in major Chinese cities is typically horrendous. Folks living in Beijing can often go weeks without actually seeing the sun. That leads to a population with compromised respiratory systems. Couple that with the fact that 68% of men in China smoke (compared to 14% of the total US population), and you have a very large percentage of the population that has further compromised respiratory systems. Additionally, the majority of fatalities had what is called a “comorbid condition”, i.e. preexisting health issues such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, etc., which made the individuals more susceptible to the virus. Finally, the mortality rate drops dramatically for those under the age of 70. Want to see an amazing image? Look at the satellite images of China’s air pollutants in the past 60 days and see the effects of one unintended result of the coronavirus: clean air as factories shut down! Here in the US, we don’t have the smog of China’s major cities, nor do we have a high percentage of smokers. We have our share of “comorbid” citizens, but our preventative health care is outstanding. We’ve also gone on the offensive early, and for those of us who are into “prepping”, we’ve been ready. Therefore, I just don’t see it getting crazy here in the US.
But are people buying bugout properties due to coronavirus? I’ve not seen it yet. Our web traffic and such has continued to grow over last year, and we’re off to an even better start this year than last. Some folks are concerned about being in a highly populated area where local government can force a quarantine, thus trapping people in concentrated areas with those already infected. That’s my primary concern: government over-reach and travel restrictions. Here in the US we tend to be very reactionary, just look at how crazy we get here in the South when the forecast calls for an inch of snow! So perhaps this IS the impetus for you to consider a retreat or bugout property in our western North Carolina mountains. If so, give us a call and we’ll help you find it so you too can “bugout”.