A couple of days ago, after coming from a public restroom with dripping hands due to the absence of paper towels, I conversed with a man coming out of the men’s restroom with dripping hands as well. “No paper towels in yours either, huh?” I asked.

“Nope,“ he replied. “I don’t understand it. I just returned from a trip to New York City, and I’ve never seen so many dudes wash their hands after using the restroom. People are freaking out over this coronavirus.”

Regardless of which side you stand on; either, ‘the media causing unnecessary panic side,’ or the ‘we are all going to get this so we better start stocking toilet paper’ side, I’m just relieved that dudes are finally washing their hands after using the restroom. Were you guys really not doing this before?

Either way, there has been some definite energy spent on talk of this virus. Not only have Corona beer stock prices dropped significantly, the entire stock market has been socked with a pretty good hit. Certainly, when the market takes a dip, people tend to become more tight fisted with their money in every arena, including real estate. Although we haven’t seen a slow in the market here, with either buyers or sellers, certain shifts have been made in the local industry with how we, as Realtors, are able to represent our clients.

Although I thought myself immune from the shift, last week I found myself precisely in the thick of it. After a significant amount of negotiations, adjustments and accommodations made by all parties in this transaction, we were finally ready to close the purchase for my clients who currently still reside in Pordenone, Italy…the same Italy in which the government recently banned all public gatherings, including schools, theaters, libraries, museums, day-care facilities and universities. Mercifully, restaurants and bars can remain open, but only between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm and only then if there can be a mandatory 3 feet of space between each patron. This is serious, people.

Regrettably, however, it also closed down the mail offices on base as well as some banks. This obligated my clients to spend an entire day traveling to an outside territory, against the advice and with admonishment from the local government, to hunt down a working notary as well as a courier service. Sadly, the pigeons were also quarantined and were not available to assist.

Finally, with only a 3-day delay (after the initial 7-day delay and following the 9-day delay) we closed, funded and recorded this transaction. It took way more than a village for this one.

Meanwhile, back here in the states, I would be nothing but ecstatic if this coronavirus scare gets me out of chaperoning the choir trip this spring. I so foolishly volunteered for this task at the beginning of the year when April seemed so very far away. Frankly, I would rather be home opening doors for clients with my elbows and passing out gowns, masks and gloves at open houses instead of cookies. Yesterday I tried to mass order complimentary bottles of hand sanitizer to pass out to clients, however that, as well as toilet paper and water are on back order until the dreaded COVID-19 goes the way of the H1N1, Sars, Zika and the Swine Flu. When that happens, Amazon will finally deliver approximately 5000 toilet paper rolls to my door step.

Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jen@jen-fischer.com.

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