People are calling this period (till mid-October) “the calm before the storm.” But is there really such a thing as CALM anymore? There isn’t even an intermission. Aren’t we all just waiting for The Second Covid Wave — post school and university openings?
I feel we are always on a permanent pre-spike alert. And then we have the November viral gangbang of the flu and Covid colliding. That takes us up to January 1. This is the look of our new social calendar bookings — all according to Covid outbreaks. I’d just assume sit this year out entirely until an “all clear” blast comes … and who knows how and when that will happen. I have yet to go to a restaurant — even outside. Maybe in 2022.
What I do hear about in the “calm” moments is a lot about moving. For some, now there is a feeling of less fear and more a momentum to take a leap of faith to a new state. But where exactly?
We’ve all heard about the record numbers of people leaving New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now Miami (despite the many New Yorkers moving there) had 53% more people leave than arrive in the last 3 months.
So where are they all going? New Mexico, Delaware, South Carolina, Nashville, and Montana have been registering lots of new arrivals. Texas is hit and miss; I know about the recent migration to Austin but not Houston (bad Covid management and severe hurricane damage). And now my dear city of Scottsdale is bursting with California and Texas license plates. Even Connecticut is going both ways. New Yorkers fled to Greenwich in March for rentals but are now looking elsewhere. Even New Jersey isn’t a winner anymore — bad lockdown and worse taxes.
Not only is Covid inspiring migration, but so is climate change — all the fires and floods, smoke, and heat. There have been endless stories of how millions will be forced from their West and Southwest homes, and now even the Northwest to North Dakota! The catastrophic heat will eventually turn Buffalo New York into the oven of Tempe, Arizona.
Abrahm Lustgarten wrote a harrowing account of this oncoming fast change in the New York Times and the end of his story is … there is nowhere safe. Forget California and the South. The Eastern coastlines will erode. We already see the results in the Northwest (once a “green” bastion of environmentalists). So, if the upshot is “no place to run, no place to hide” where does that leave us? Fleeing from one location to another only to run into another disaster! Consider the rolling power outages (even with your own generator) a distant scary warning bell. So, throw the Covid panic into the Climate angst and you have everyone “wanting out.”
As of now, I know of no one who has actually moved past the Hamptons and Connecticut — and that is hardly a migration. That is called a second home salvation. Same thing with those who flew to Aspen and Telluride or the Jersey Shore for the summer. But there are the super wealthy who remained insulated from most of the recent shock and awe of high insurance rates, food shortages and dicey medical.
Although billionaire Ron Perelman recently made headlines when he announced his giant sell-off of a lot of his art and planes and some high-end “blue chip” personal effects. Sure, his Revlon company took a hit. Whose company hasn’t? Who isn’t sizing down if not out? Perelman’s giant New York City apartment and his 57-acre East Hampton estates are still not on the market. I didn’t see him migrating to Nebraska. So he is hardly indicative of anything.
With everyone feeling like they should be “on the move” (or thinking about it) I still wonder, to where exactly? I have a fearful 82-year-old pal in Escondido California who is considering Portugal. Portugal?
She couldn’t really say other than “it seems remote and gentle and sweet enough.” This is serious la la land mentality.
I’m still mystified that others are considering Sacramento (still smoky), Atlanta, and Nevada. Housing is all cheaper, but let’s understand one thing: It is expensive to move anywhere now. U-Haul and moving van companies have now upped their rates and are thriving from all this relocation. Maybe more people should consider RV’s or trailers. But you still have to park those somewhere.
Recently, pals of mine fled to Northern Idaho as a Covid escape. They stayed at a deluxe resort called Gozzer Ranch across the lake from Coeur de’ Alene. Apparently this is owned by a company called Discovery Resorts that operates several luxurious “membership only” residential clubs in Yellowstone and Cabo, etc.
By July 4th, Gozzer loosened up its Covid regulations so when their holiday golf tournaments took place, they were semi-maskless and NON-social distancing parties were everywhere. Now it’s been reported that the Covid caseloads have exploded to over 100 and many of the resort co-owners’, “members” and “guests” are already super spreading the virus on their private jets to the other resorts and “escape properties.”
People are concerned, given the increased populations on these resorts. They are saying that this outbreak is many times the national average, higher than the meat packing plants and nursing homes. But no one is talking because rich lips sink ships. But now they may have to! Face it, money and luxurious “Covid-free” sanctuaries can’t buy you outta this no more. Maybe people should try American Samoa. I hear there are zero Covid cases and deaths … and remember, Bloomberg won in their last primary.
The other current go-to is the Cotswold area of England — on the ocean, very remote and picturesque. Uh-oh! Last week they registered a spiking case count along with the rest of Britain. Remember the more remote, the more likely you have to bring your own concierge doctor with you. And some have!
Perhaps the most popular retreat is Canada. But I have heard that it is extremely expensive to move there as an American citizen and Canada is now making that even harder and the border tougher. Remember in 2016, Barbra Streisand and Brian Cranston announced they were moving to Canada if Trump won? He did. They are still living in incinerating Los Angeles. But nobody should look at celebrities for a point of view on anything.
Unless you are a Kardashian! Talk about “On the Move.”
Their legendary “Keeping up with the Kardashians” TV series is finally finished as of January. Talk about the end of an era. What will they all do? We shouldn’t worry as they all admitted they were sick of doing it and we were sick of watching them (ratings tanked) and they are all financially set for life — even if our economy goes bust. They all have plenty of bust to live off of. Kanye and Kim already have their $14 million escape-hatch ranch in Wyoming. And Caitlyn Jenner may get into politics. What a happy ending for one and all!
But last week Kanye tweeted a photo of himself urinating on his Grammy statue in protest against Universal Music Company for owning the rights to all of his masters. I actually thought he was urinating on the statue to signal the end of all awards shows, which might be more significant. As for wife Kim – she reacted by instantly freezing her social media accounts and released a statement saying she is staying home to deal with her “husband’s mental health issues and his bi-polar struggles.”
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It got me thinking. If this is happening to the heads of the Kardashian Nation, the biggest cultural influencers of the last 10 years, maybe that’s a hint for all of us to settle down, drop social media, stay put and deal with our own Nation’s bipolar issues!
Wish us all luck on that one!