NOT the First: Facts TRUMP Fear

Dated: March 20 2020

Views: 367

Facts defeat fear. So what do we know? This is not the first health Pandemic you’ve lived through. You probably don’t remember it, but the Swine Flu (otherwise known as H1N1 … and later determined it wasn’t exposed or circulating among U.S. pig herds) happened from 2009-2010; yes … that declared pandemic was for that long. You probably don’t remember the MERS outbreak or even the SARS in 2002, either. Just to clarify too, SARS and MERS are all types of Coronaviruses. Since the mid-1960’s there has been 7 types known that people have been getting infected with (CDC, February 2020). If you’re old enough you might remember the H1N1 outbreak of 1976, the 1968 pandemic of H3N2, the ‘57/’58 pandemic of H2N2, or I doubt it … the pandemic of 1918’s H1N1. (One of my clients currently in Pennsylvania had memories and something to say about 1918’s pandemic.)

How many people died in the U.S. during this period from H1N1 you might be wondering? 12,500 and that’s less than what the President has been known to be recently quoting (CDC, 2019). The CDC even estimates that the average deaths each year from the flu over the past decade has been 12,000 – 61,000 on average (CDC, 2020).

Not to compare the H1N1 to COVID-19, because they are different types of viruses, but there are lessons to be learned through such similar repeated pandemics. The 2009 strand of H1N1 started in Mexico before the first U.S. case was noted on April 15, 2009 (10-year-old in California) and within 2 weeks the government declared a public health emergency and started releasing stockpiles; an EUA (Emergency Use Act) was ordered on April 28, 2009 (CDC, 2010). Clinical trials for the 2009 vaccine began in July of 2009 with the FDA approving 4 different vaccines for the 2009 H1N1 strand of which 100 million doses were available by December. The WHO declared a pandemic on June 11, 2009 and by June 19th all states, territories, and districts of The United States had reported cases of the H1N1 flu (CDC, 2010).

How are the H1N1 and COVID-19 different you might also be wondering? Influenza has a shorter incubation period and shorter serial interval than COVID-19; this means the flu spreads FASTER than COVID-19! However, the major difference is that COVID-19 has a potential pre-symptomatic transmission 3-5 days prior to the appearance of symptoms makes it a higher reproductive rate of secondary infections. Children normally are a big role in the influenza in a community but WHO’s report suggests that children are low and less affected; suggesting children are probably infected from adults instead of vice-versa. The critical infections needing ventilation, at the time, were 5% of those infected and the CRUDE mortality rate reported (because once all the infections are reported this number will be FAR less than the current available data) was 3-4%; 80% were mild or asymptomatic. The seasonal influenza mortality rate is below 0.1%. (WHO, 2020)

The COVID-19 virus has been hitting Italy and its elderly the hardest thus changing the polls for most currently affected. In the U.S., from only the 14,631 cases reported there has been 230 deaths (Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, March 20, 2020). That is a 1.5% mortality of those infected so far. Again, there won’t be an accurate number ever because most of the population will be asymptomatic and thus ‘infections’ will never be accurately counted. So the mortality rate is actually infinitely lower.

The CDC’s original worst-case-scenario is 160 million to 210 million (out of a population of 327 million) Americans would be infected by December and an estimated 200,000 to 1.7 million could be fatal by end of year (Hjelmgaard & Sergent, 2020). That means the worst-case-scenario that CDC estimated is less than 0.5% of the total population. Best-case-scenario is .000611% of the population; way less of the normal fatality rate of the seasonal influenza worldwide (WHO, 2020).

So let’s bring this back to the market and how does it effect real estate? It hasn’t effected housing in any foreseen stat yet. The February numbers were just published, and it’s exactly as locally predicted; sales were up 13.6% year-over-year with median price up 11.7% year-over-year. Inventory levels were down 3.3% month-over-month (on March 1st) and continues to be an issue. It is one of the strongest seller’s market on record. We could really use a break … please?

Obviously, this pandemic will have some effect on the economy. We just don’t know how much because data will be after the effect. The big question will be if home buyers see a window of opportunity (that they couldn’t get just a month ago) and continue to strike on the few inventory options they have while they have more time off work or will it incite a higher demand just because more buyers have more time off work thus creating an even further inventory shortage than what we currently have? One ‘parting of the clouds’ might be that investors owning VRBOs or BNBs might see their investment properties as sudden liabilities due to a lack of current travel and we’ll get a slight increase of inventory from these coming to the market. One opinion I can share from being in the field and seeing first-hand on all the showings and activity I’ve had increase this past week: sellers are not hiding toilet paper or even scared to share or open up their homes. It’s business as usual … well … actually slightly busier than usual.
One last parting word to the wise, Trump needs $5.7 billion to finish the wall. He said he was going to declare a national emergency back in January and then backed down from it almost uncannily. We all know how determined he is to finish it. The FEMA disaster fund, that is recently accessible by the Stafford Act invoked by the President, has $42.6 billion sitting in it (Jansen, 2020). That unlocks a lot of imagination to what and how that money can be used by FEMA and the rest of the United States. The stimulus package proposed, including that to pay every American in the lower income brackets a $1000 and maybe even more in a 2nd wave, is estimated around $1 trillion. Don't forget this happened already when we all saw $300 checks from the government back in 2001 ... I know I had to be reminded of it. As for how that balances, our deficit would be about 10% of our gross domestic product; during WWII it ran over 20% (Long, 2020).


“Corona Virus Home.” Human Coronavirus Types. CDC – U.S. Govt. February 15, 2020. Web <>

“Seasonal Influenza (Flu): About Flu.” Disease Burden of Influenza. CDC – U.S. Govt. January 10, 2020. Web <>

“Pandemic Influenza: Past Pandemics.” 2009 H1N1 Pandemic (H1N1pdm09 virus). CDC – U.S. Govt. June 11, 2019. Web <>

“H1N1 Flu.” The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic: Summary Highlights, April 2009-April 2010. CDC – U.S. Govt. August 3, 2010. Web <>

“Coronavirus: Situation Reports.” Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 46. WHO (World Health Organization). March 6, 2020. Web <>

“Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University.” Total Confirmed & Total Deaths. John Hopkins University. March 20th, 2020 at 9:30 AM. Web <>

Hjelmgaard, Kim and Sergent, Jim. “World News 2020/3/19.” USA TODAY analysis: America’s coronavirus ‘curve’ may be at its most dangerous point. USA TODAY Network. March 19, 2020. <>

Jansen, Bart. “News: Politics.” What is the Stafford Act? Trump’s emergency declaration provides funds, flexibility for state, local officials to deal with coronavirus. USA TODAY Network. March 13, 2020 <>

Long, Heather. “Business- Economy.” Americans are very likely to get $1000 (or more) checks. Here’s what you need to know. The Washington Post. March 17, 2020. <>
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Brandon Switzer

I am a full-time professional marketing homes & making dreams come true for new home buyers. I work, live, and play in the Phoenix Valley and specialize in selling in the boundaries and outskirts of t....

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