Where do I begin with COVID-19 and how it has impacted us? I keep thinking about a time, only a few months ago, when we were going about our normal lives and the term “COVID-19” never existed. Now, everything around us pertains to this disease and essentially we are all in a war against a virus. You can tell how important this all is, especially when Tom Brady announced he was leaving New Englanders and we were more focused on COVID-19! Then again, Dunkin’ is still running- so that has helped a lot of us stay somewhat sane! 😆
As a real estate agent, AND a nurse practitioner, I am still working by seeing patients in the office that are ill. Thankfully, we have technology that keeps us in touch with our clients without direct contact. Helping people is so important to me, but it can be challenging during a time like this when I can no longer see my family, as I worry about their health. Per the CDC, older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions, like heart or lung disease or even diabetes, seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
For the real estate industry, in particular for Massachusetts, Governor Baker’s office has provided the following guidance to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, who sent this message out to all of it’s members:
“Showings and open houses are permitted and are subject to Governor Baker’s order limiting gatherings to ten or fewer people. If open houses are held, they must be limited to ten people at a time and social distancing must be enforced. Additionally, MAR recommends the use of hand sanitizer and thorough and frequent cleanings.
Although allowed, MAR strongly encourages members NOT to host open houses in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Real estate closings can continue, with social distancing for any in-person transactions.”
I believe this pandemic has really hammered home why vaccines are so important. If there is no vaccine against a contagious disease we basically have to shut down and cancel everything that is important to us. This includes sports, restaurants, parties, concerts, etc. It is also troubling to know many local and small business owners are being severely affected because they are a big part of our communities and towns. However, even though everything we love is canceled, we know that it is our health that is most important.
One advantage through all of this is the miracle of technology! I can’t imagine what life would’ve been like if technology didn’t exist with all this happening in the world. Schools have been mandated to be closed for a whole month, and this could still possibly be extended until the end of the school year. We have been fortunate enough to be able to maintain work and general connection with each other through Zoom meetings or Facetime. In my work as a nurse practitioner we have been able to continue caring for patients through televisits to limit the number of people having to come in or leave their houses to obtain healthcare. In addition, in real estate, we are doing 3D virtual open houses to allow clients to view a property without having to leave the safety and comfort of their own home.
I am not saying the COVID-19 pandemic is good in any way, but I feel the world is a little less scary if we can all take a moment to find something positive out of all of this. It has made a push for the use of technology in circumstances when it is needed. This could be helpful in future productivity as there may be less reluctance to use technology when there is a snow day or other event that prevents people and students from leaving their home when it is safer to stay home. Another positive is how much we have come together to help our communities stay healthy and the appreciation we’ve shown for healthcare professionals. Many are donating PPE, including making handmade masks to donate to hospitals and healthcare offices to help with the shortages. Hopefully life can go back to normal soon, but for now, remember to wash your hands and practice social distancing!
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