I realize that, as a local businessman, I’m not supposed to admit to weakness. I’m supposed to keep my head high, puff my chest and declare myself to be courageous. Well, I would be lying if I didn’t say that, in actuality, I’m terrified. There’s absolutely nothing in my 55 years that remotely prepares me for a viral pandemic- nothing that tells me how it is that I’m supposed to contend with the possibility that friends will become ill or I may face financial calamity. Restless nights and hours of contemplation do provide some answers. Slowly, insights begin to emerge and there are some things that I do know to be true...
There is strength in numbers. Collectively, we can get through this. It’s odd to think that, as we’re encouraged to practice social distancing, we will actually need to rely on each other- we’ll have to draw closer together- in order to survive whatever it is that is thrown our way these next few weeks or months.
We’re in the right city in which to practice- and reap the benefits of- communal benevolence. I live in Rochester because of the people. There is a warmth and a kindness and a generosity that exists here that I honestly believe would be hard to replicate somewhere else. We need to tap into this strength in order to emerge on the other side of this scourge. If we collectively pledge to engage in philanthropy, we could emerge both stronger and more unified.
I’m personally setting aside politics and I would encourage everyone to do the same. COVID-19 doesn’t care about conspiracy theories. The virus doesn’t discriminate against those who support Trump vs. those who support Pelosi. Coronavirus is not registered as a Democrat or as a Republican. It is indiscriminate and a failure to realize this and immediately set aside our differences will only make our fight that much more difficult.
It would be foolhardy to think that my real estate team and I won’t be experiencing some loss of business. It seems inevitable. However, during the past 48 hours, I‘ve been heartened by the outpouring of support from friends and strangers. Yesterday, we brought a buyer and seller together to consummate a sale. We pushed through four engineer’s inspection contingency removals. Today, we’re listing a few new properties. Interest rates are low and so are inventory levels. Ultimately, we’ll get through this and, when we do, we know that we’ll be drowning in a deluge of activity as our clients begin the process of making up for the time that they’ve lost. Until then, we may have a few more hours available to us every week. Perhaps we can be of help...
Are you currently sick with a traditional cold or flu and can’t make it to Wegmans? Let me know. I will personally drive to Wegmans to shop on your behalf. Are you scared or lonely? PM me, call or text- we will set everything else aside to try to provide comfort. I know that local school districts are making plans so that, if there are closures, lunches can be picked up. Well, that’s not so easy if you’re stuck at work- perhaps we can help. If I’m overrun with requests I’ll simply reach out to my social network. I know that there are thousands of like-minded Rochesterians ready to help.
Breathe. Get plenty of sleep. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth. Stop worrying about the lack of toilet paper at Wegmans. And be nice to one another. We will get through this!
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