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COVID-19 is upon on us and, yes, we’re doomed.
But why we are doomed is the problem. And it isn’t the Coronavirus.
As of this writing, we have one confirmed case in Sudbury. One. Out of 155K-ish people. One. Of course, it’s still one and one is too many. We don’t want anyone we know to get it; we want to be cautious; we want those that get it to recover fully and quickly and we want to make sure the most vulnerable in society are protected.
That being said, do you know what 1 divided by 155,000 looks like? This: 6.451612903225806e-6. Not even the calculator thinks it’s worthy of supplying a real number. Why? Because a standard calculator doesn’t have a large enough display to show you just how low the percentage of people in Sudbury that have the virus are. So, based on this percentage result, we’re not exactly doomed by this stat.
There are currently around 250 cases in Canada out of approximately 36,300,000 people. Again, the calculator returns a result that says, “you know the number is too low to show you the whole thing”. Percentage of people in Canada with the virus: 6.887052341597796e-6.
For those not as mathematically inclined, these are not 6.45% and 6.89% respectively. Those numbers above reflect percentages that are so infinitesimally low that the calculator is basically saying, “why even bother asking me?” So, science, which includes math, tells us that the risk still remains relatively low.
Sure, they say there is a chance that 30-70% Canadians might get this through “Community Spreading” – one of the wonderful new catch phrases that “smart” people in the crowd would have you believe they’ve been using for years. But that also means there’s a 30-70% chance of Canadians not getting it. So, let’s cut the fat above and call it a 50/50 chance of getting it. What has further been announced is that, for those who contract it, most will recover after two weeks with no issues. Does this spell doom? Well, I highly disagree with calling flipping a coin, getting it wrong and still being ok after two weeks of couch, soup and binging on Netflix, for the majority, a doomsday scenario.
Are we doomed cause of the near 30% drop in the stock markets? Each person will look at this differently and I’m sure there are plenty out there with heavy stock portfolios that are having massive anxiety about what they just witnessed disappear. As we said in our March monthly e-newsletter, this is one of those lessons about why you should diversify your portfolio and have hard assets in real estate to give yourself some balance to cushion blows like this.
Regardless, the markets will recover in time. As it’s been noted, unless you’re retired or retiring in the next six months, ignore the noise. This is coming from financial experts. We’re already witnessing a levelling off of the market correction as governments start announcing stimulus packages for the economy. What the rational people out there should be doing is looking at refinancing their mortgage now or, even better, if you’re looking to buy in the near future, get pre-approved to lock in these low interest rates. You could end up saving a nice chunk you can put back into your stock portfolio!
Like the real estate market, stock markets ebb and flow over time. But the trend lines over time always show an increase for the most part.
So, if the stats say we should be alright and the markets seem to be stabilizing, why are we doomed?
Is it our health care system? Is it our governments? Flat out – the answer is no.
Our health care system is not as great as some people would lead you to believe. It’s not “free” like some say, but somehow it is severely underfunded even though an abundance of tax dollars is thrown at it. There is far too much wasted in our health care system on bureaucratic levels than what should be spent on front line staff. But those front-line workers never give up, which saves face for our health care system. They face challenges every day and I have no doubt they’re doing well in facing this one.
This situation is so new and unknown that there is currently no cure or vaccine for it…. YET. We all know their will be as the top minds across the globe are collaborating to fix this. And they will. For now, they’re simply doing their best to keep the populace informed and make decisions erring on the side of caution. But they have blatantly come out saying it’s as simple as washing your hands properly, thoroughly and often.
I think our health care system is doing, and will continue to do, a great job in handling this situation. Sure, it’s rumoured it will get tougher before it gets better. But we’re already seeing things easing up in China where they took similar measures at the onset of it.
So, our health care system, whether it’s the current state of or preparedness of, is not the reason we’re doomed.
As for governments, well, most of those who know me know my partisan leanings. As we all know, politicos often behave like “adult children” when we witness them turning the House of Common’s Question Period into nothing but childish insults and unproductive one-line zingers that they think are brilliant. As a side note for all politicians, your behaviour is not brilliant - you guys collectively look like idiots on all sides of the House and you should all start putting your nonsense childish behaviour in your pocket and start moving the country forward. From the foot stomping to the virtue signaling to the east/west divide to the “click bait sound bite” lines these idiots throw out like some guy trying to be “cool” at the party, it's high time they should know we all think they look like absolute jackasses. Once this is over, stop the theatrics and do what you’re paid handsomely to do – govern to help Canadians, not to stay in power, get into power or trying to look "cool" for the cameras while slandering your opponents.
But, isn’t it amazing how something like COVID-19 can make them all come together and play nice? Even “the demon” Trump calling Sophie “a great lady” is something that probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t on the heels of this. The parties have come together to sign off on USMCA (new NAFTA) in record time so it passes into Royal Assent as soon we’re clear of this to make sure the North American economies don’t sputter for long. They’ve come together to sign off on emergency stimulus packages and are taking great steps to assure Canadians that help will happen. All levels of government are making daily announcements and decisions based on the needs and protection of Canadians.
There is no one-size fits all program here for any country, province, city, etc., worldwide. I think now that the governments are actually working together, this can be viewed as a "reset" that will be one of the more promising times in our country’s history. It’s like when there’s a family squabble that lasts decades, but then grandma passes away and, at the funeral, everyone realizes life is too short and make amends. Sometimes tragedy and hard times bring people back together. And, with governments operating cooperatively, for the first time in a long time, they are currently not what is going to doom us – large emphasis on currently here if they just go back to their childish nonsense ways after this.
So, if it’s not the usual governmental childish nonsense, if it’s not our health care system, if the stock markets will eventually recover and the stats say we should be fine, then why are we doomed?
We’re doomed because of a virus that is way worse than COVID-19. I call it the HYSTERIA-20 and it’s being fed and inflamed to epic proportions by the media.
The media, for the most part, are a bunch of self-serving maniacs that do anything to get you to click on their headlines. On normal days, they bend the truth to fit their partisan leanings, they suppress voices that disagree with their narrative, they de-contextualize anything they can to make it sound better or worse than it is and they do it all to sell ad space. Reminder, this is normal behaviour for them on a good day.
Ever notice those days when there are no global pandemics, no plane crashes, no Hollywood scandals or anything else exciting, they can find some blood thirsty headline from a remote town in Arkansas advertised as "Breaking News" that has basically zero bearing on anyone’s life in Canada that they're just using as click-bait?
The media doesn’t report news anymore. They exaggerate it to the cusp of fabrication, they dig deep into far reaches to find anything they can multiply in severity to grab your attention, they dig even deeper to find these so called “experts” (should read “person who agrees with my opinionated writing and the news outlet’s position on the story”) and they throw out anything they feel is going to get clicks without any real fact checking or confirmation. Ever notice, before the online news world became prevalent, the paper’s retractions would be buried deep into the pages where readers normally wouldn’t get to them in the course of a standard bathroom break?
Yes, there are journalists with integrity out there, I’m sure. But news is not what it used to be and should be – just straightforward reporting of the news. Every story is lined with hidden opinions, agendas and political leaning. But, the worst part, is anything that might be considered good news is buried deep into an article after all the catchy one-liners and “experts” they finally found that supported their narrative.
Take the current situation. All these headlines of deaths, new cases of the virus, quarantines, the person stranded out of country, the family trapped in their home, etc. are all click bait being added at alarming rates. Buried DEEP in these articles is the statement “the majority of people who get infected with COVID-19 have minor to moderate symptoms and fully recover”. If the title of their article was “Majority Of People Will Be Fine”, they wouldn’t get any clicks and wouldn't sell any ad space.
But the media isn’t solely responsible for HYSTERIA-20. So, then who else is at fault?
It’s our own fault. We’re stupid and clicking into all this noise. We’re idiots steadfastly watching the tickers at the bottom of the screen on these news channels that haven’t said anything different in 20mins. We’re like drooling dogs watching their food dish getting filled as we await the “new and exciting” tidbit of information that changes the basis of the entire scenario by a percentage of 6.451612903225806e-6.
Then we get on social media and regurgitate all these catch phrases like we’re part of the science team working on the cure. We have to “self-isolate” and practice “social distancing” to “flatten the curve” out of “an abundance of caution” because of this “global pandemic”. The media is feeding us this drivel and, unless you’re a scientist that’s been using these terms in the lab or at conferences, don’t start throwing these things around smugly like they've been part of your vocabulary for years.
Instead, the same connotation in a non-hysterical reaction, before these media catch phrases came out, would’ve read:
We have to “stay home” and practice “stay over there if you’re coughing” to “keep your shit away from me” out of “I got shit to do and can’t be sick” because of this “everyone’s sick stuff going around”.
But it’s not just these catch phrases that are causing HYSTERIA-20 to spread faster than COVID-19 ever could’ve dreamed of, it’s the lack of emotional control of the readers and the population as a whole that is causing this widespread nonsense.
The message from the powers that be is “wash your hands”. Wow – that is some seriously complex medical advice that seems pretty tough to understand without a Master's Degree. Obviously there would be some confusion over the specific details of this medical advice that would require further explanation from a PhD….. (If you don’t see the sarcasm, you have more to be worried about than coronavirus).
Since when did people need 300 rolls of toilet paper to wash their hands? Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cleaning products were wiped off the shelves by this mass, ignorant chaos, yet there was still soap available. What’s next for these idiots? If we hear we’re going to have a gas shortage at the pumps, they’re going to run out and buy all toasters? When we see boil water advisories, should those people run out and clear out the shelves of all the pillowcases they can find? There’s only one thing to say about this – Mass Stupidity lead by Mass Hysteria.
This is why we’re doomed. The initial people react to a misleading headline, widely spread and regurgitate misinformation by way of fancy catch phrases they use to make themselves sound important and then others follow blindly into the rabbit hole of pure emotional chaos. Rampant, knee-jerk reactions based on zero (or less) proof or factual professional guidance.
To hear people getting into physical confrontations over toilet paper is disgusting. Anyone trying to sell toilet paper rolls online for profit right now – you are a despicable human. To be clearing out shelves in panicked, frenzied buying over the entirely wrong information shows how catastrophically inept the general population are to handle these situations. And the media, those blowing up social media and those that behaved irrationally, can cumulatively wear the entire fault of HYSTERIA-20 and why we are ultimately doomed as a civilization.
Yes, this is a global issue, and everyone has a right to be concerned. Yes, people will get infected, and we wish you a speedy recovery, but our thoughts are primarily with those that aren’t physically equipped to handle it. Yes, it will continue to spread before it gets better and we should practice “staying home”, “stay over there with that cough” and washing our hands to limit the spread. Yes, sadly, more people will likely die, families will mourn and have to regroup and that is horrible no matter what the circumstance.
But it’s important to get a grip on reality. Stop inhaling everything the media tells you like it’s the cure for COVID-19. Stop acting like the world is coming to an end with these irrational behaviours we’re seeing in stores. Stop spreading your opinions and rumours on social media like they’re fact. And stop regurgitating the catch phrase of the day as though you’re the authority people should listen to.
Instead, start listening to the powers that be – the governments, the scientists, the health care teams. Start looking at federal, provincial and local government websites for up-to-date, non-bias or exaggerated info. Start browsing local health unit and hospital websites for true information on what to do and when to do it. Although they’re all still making it up as they go along, start trusting these people as they’re the smartest group at the table and the only ones you should taking direct advice from.
Now that everyone is hopefully realizing its time to settle down, why not take advantage of this self-isolation, um sorry, “staying home”? This is a great opportunity to declutter the house, finish that book, review your financial risk levels, look into taking advantage of refinancing at lower mortgage rates, browse the MLS to find that camp you’ve been dreaming of, read all our other great blogs or just kick back, make some soup and a grill cheese and binge on Netflix.
Most importantly, take some deep breaths knowing this will pass. And when that time comes, it’s important to remember that your Greater Sudbury neighbours went through this along side you in their own homes. This means we all probably saved a few bucks that the community is going to need to start moving quickly and reenergize. Once things have cleared up, we’ve got to go out for dinner to support our local restaurant owners and their local suppliers. We’ve got to buy tickets for the Wolves/Five games to help them finish their seasons and support our local performing artists. We have to go buy that dress, new shoes, new golf clubs or new smartphone to support our local business owners and their staff. We have to get our oil changed and get our winter tires off to support our local mechanics and dealerships. We’ll have to spur the economy back into action to help each other pay the bills and get back on our feet.
Besides, we all know a ton of you have extra money that you won’t have to spend on toilet paper for quite a while. Maybe you should even go give a couple of rolls to your neighbour as a reminder that we’re all in this together.
This a very unusual time and we're here to guide you through your real estate needs. If you feel a pinch may be coming, this is the right time to get out in front of it and consider downsizing. Or, as mentioned, you may want to explore taking advantage of the low interest rates to refinance, upgrade or purchase that investment property or camp you've always wanted. Never hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we all have plenty of time to figure out a game plan while we're trying to ride this out at home. If you need to burn some time in isolation, you can check out all the MLS™ listings here, access all our great blog topics here or browse our site for great info on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.
We will get through this blip on the radar and we'll get through it together.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries. For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at email@example.com.