It seems that the Covid 19 virus is hitting America. The numbers keep changing fast as we are testing more people. Honestly, America had two and a half months to prepare for this outbreak and moved slowly. The President downplayed the danger of the disease as well which is dangerous in itself. Now that the disease is off the leash in America, we are starting to realize that perhaps we should learn from particular Asian countries on how to get a handle on this problem. Testing likely suspects in mass is a big part of it. But, what about Notaries, what should your concerns and actions be?
It is a problem that people are panicking. This results in unstable business decisions. It also results in stores being sold out of face masks (not a problem in my area yet), hand sanitizer, paper towels, bottled water, and water filters. It makes sense to have a supply at home because these items sell out quickly. I was lucky and got some paper towels and water today which is March 10th although I might not publish this article for a while.
The Stock Market
Stocks are plummeting in value. I understand that cruise and airline stocks should lose some intrinsic value due to this disease. But, banks should not be too affected by this problem, yet their stocks are dipping just as badly as airlines. Even Coca Cola which is a very stable company has lost a lot of ground and they are one of the most stable stocks that exist.
I heard that the refinance marked spiked and then the phones stopped ringing in the last few days. Interest rates are low and could get lower as the global economy is slowing down due to the disease and due to the trade war between the USA and China. This means more refinances. However, if people are afraid to go to work or leave the house, that means there might not be any business for Notaries. Very few people are infected in America at this point and it does not make sense to avoid leaving the house at this stage. Once we get into late April or May then it might be a much more serious situation and you might face immediate risk.
The 18 Month Rule
Some people have decided to shut down schools or not go to work. Newsflash – pandemics like the Spanish Flu, Swine Flu, and Covid 19 typically last 18 months or longer. So, if you have decided that shutting down your school or playing hookey on work makes sense, ask yourself if you can afford to continue that behavior for 18 months. Sure, if there is an acute outbreak in your particular area, then cancelling school makes sense. But, now, there are only three areas in the USA where it makes sense to cancel school.
If you are 60 or over, or have a lung condition it makes sense not to get on an airplane, cruise ship, go to the movies, go to a convention, or be anywhere where you will be in close proximity to large quantities of humans, especially if the ventilation is anything other than clean air.
I am not a doctor, but I think stocking up on some food and supplies makes sense at this point because the shelves at your supermarket could end up stripped bare at some point. It makes sense to wash your hands regularly with soap and disinfect surfaces in your house regularly. It makes sense to avoid crowds if you can. But, you need to go to work unless there is some pressing reason why you wouldn’t. If you are sick, elderly, or there is an outbreak in your city you might stop going to work for a while. If you are able to work from home that is great and recommended. But, if you have to work at an office, take some vitamin C and hope for the best. You can’t just end your life before it is over.
Don’t be afraid to do loan signings. There is a chance that the signers could be infected, but a very small chance at this point. Stay six feet away from them and make sure they don’t sneeze on you. Disinfect the table with wipes or lysol. You might check with the borrowers by phone to see if they are coughing or sneezing. Take some vitamin C and garlic and hope for the best. We cannot just shut down society at this point because there is a tiny risk of exposure.
What should the government do?
We should test all those with symptoms in a very efficient way. We should test all that have come into contact with diagnosed individuals. It might also make sense to test all who live in areas with high rates of infections. There is a pecking order for who should be tested. Because if we don’t identify individuals who have the disease, we will eventually have to quarantine all of society at least in particular areas which will be devastating for the economy.
It is unclear how this disease will affect the notary industry. Personally, I think it will help us with loan signings, and I think the danger to Notaries doing signings is minuscule. Even if your a borrower from time to time has the disease, you are not likely to get it if you take precautions. Continue living your life and take necessary precautions unless you are elderly or have lung issues in which case — alter your life now!