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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/25/20

Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis

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Work From Home
Work From Home
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Discover the Joys of Working from Home.

All humans find themselves on an even playing field. We can all be killed by a pesky little virus. Some of us have better coping skills than others and some of us are lucky to have a place to shelter and wait it out. The shutdown seemed to come out of nowhere overnight, leaving many unprepared and jobless, while the lucky ones get to work at home.

Evidence is mounting that leads to the conclusion that some wealthy individuals and corporations had advance notice and took premeditated actions to secure their wealth ahead of the shutdown that turned off the economy and created an overnight unemployment crisis. The administration is sweeping its slow response to the pandemic by blaming anyone and everyone else for hiding the facts.

One fact that is hard to hide is the loss of jobs and global economic crisis that has cut important supply lines as overseas trade ground to a halt. Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell predicts record unemployment and a slow economic recovery. A drop in property values and lower rents seem eminent.

Though some politicians seem oblivious to the obvious and continue to push density legislation, many large financial institutions and developers have already shifted their focus from urban developments to building new single family rental homes in the suburbs, in anticipation of the millennials exiting the cities.

Breaking news about the unhealthy crowded living and working conditions among those most effected by the highly contagious virus has generated a huge shift to working at home for those who can. Employers are embracing that option, leaving the distinct possibility that many offices will become vacant soon.

New businesses and web sites are popping up to support people who want to be independent and work at home. Many unemployed people will start new business ventures at home and they will require larger homes. Live-work will become part of the new norm.

Work spaces need to be redesigned to provide for more distance between workers and the public to make social distancing work for everyone. There will be work for architects, designers, and remodeling contractors as employers scramble to create safe work environments for employees and the public incorporating the new socially distancing standards.

Some voices continue to claim that dense transit rich housing is still desirable and environmentally friendly, but, stopping commerce is what cleared the air, not dense transit rich development and road diets.

Regardless of political and media spin, people will live where they want. If someone wants to buy a condo in a dense urban environment, they may be accommodated without any additional units being added to the existing supply for some time. If you want it, go for it. I'm sure there are some real good deals out there now.

If an unemployed hobbyist wants to turn a basement into a wood-working shop or a sewing shop or some other enterprise, they should be accommodated. We need a government that empowers people to work for themselves, regardless of where they want to live and how. The more people work at home, the better prepared we will be for the next crisis. Keeping commuters off the road is the best coping mechanism for society and the planet.

 

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Artist, writer, working to promote a clean healthy planet, society and economy.

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