Flight from New York

Source: New York Times. Click for larger image.

“New York is a great place to live, but I wouldn’t want to ride out a deadly viral epidemic there.” That pretty much sums up the attitude of tens of thousands of Gothamites — mostly of the wealthier sort — who have fled the city during the onset of the COVID-19 tribulations. In March, the U.S. Post Office received 56,000 mail-forwarding requests from New York City, more than double the monthly average. In April the number of requests reached 81,000, reports the New York Times

More than 60% of the forwarding requests were for destinations outside the city. Many people fled to nearby areas in Long Island, New Jersey and upstate New York. Otherwise, the Washington metropolitan area was the third most popular out-of-region destination, following the Miami and Philadelphia metros.

No speculation from the NYT regarding how many might have carried the coronavirus with them — although it may not be total coincidence that the Washington metro has the highest incidence per capita of COVID-19 infection in Virginia.


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10 responses to “Flight from New York”

  1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Take me to Miami… oh wait, no. Take me to Aspen.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Time to call it the Cuomovirus? How about Cuomo-DeBlasio Syndrome? A bit harsh, on refection, but NYC was clearly the epicenter for the whole country. The west coast probably actually got it later (despite what was first reported), and clearly responded more effectively. NY State has almost 1500 deaths per million, and California under 100.

    1. MAdams Avatar

      I believe they’ve discovered cases from December in Florida. They involved people who hadn’t left their town in years.


  3. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I think this is happening in Northern VA too. I only have my observations as a school teacher to draw on though. I can count 7 students who have temporarily relocated to places like Pittsburgh, Elkton WV, Farmington NM, and Utah. They are finishing the year remotely. The illness has struck their families directly.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Yup, I hear it has really helped the rural real estate market!

    And it may be not a temporary trend if employers become more comfortable with more of their workers – working remotely.

    If this trend continues, it could dramatically change settlement patterns and all the pieces and parts associated with them.

    For instance, folks who are used to having internet are going to become strong voices for extending it to rural.

    Many, many other disruptions that I hope BR would get to discussing.

  5. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    The FCC has a reverse auction for rural broadband scheduled for October 2020. The auction will distribute $20 billion over ten years to expand broadband in unserved rural markets.

    What happens to very expensive fixed transit providers, such as WMATA, if working from home becomes more the standard? What happens to local government real estate tax revenues and spending if there is a significant downsizing of commercial offices? Lots of questions to be discussed.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Unless some miracle drug or vaccine comes along fairly quick – there are going to be some momentous economic disruptions – way beyond the shorter term unemployment from restaurants, retail, hospitality, entertainment, sports, etc.

      For al the years subjects like this have been discussed in BR , now we seem to much inclined to culture war issues.. my 2 cents.

  6. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    The work at home pattern will be ingrained because that will hold well into the fall and perhaps into 2021. Maybe there is a vaccine in a year, and maybe never.

  7. djrippert Avatar

    A lot will depend on whether there’s a second wave and how serious that wave becomes. There were pandemics in 1958 and 1969 in the US. Things changed and then settled back. Working from home has been possible for a decade or so but the cities didn’t empty out. Washington DC’s population grew by 16.7% from 2010 through 2018!

    A serious second wave could change everything, especially in New York if it gets hit hard a second time. New York City’s population was flat and New York state was losing people fast before COVID19.

    30% of people in NYC make $100,000 or more per year. Yet even a salary of $100,000 disappears pretty fast in New York City.


    How many people in NYC who are working from home will stay in the city if a second wave comes? Abandon the overpriced rental apartment, relocate elsewhere and let the landlord try to get his or her money.

    It’s a 90 minute drive followed by a 90 minute train ride from my farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Wilmington Amtrak station then onto Manhattan. Too long for a daily commute but a pretty easy trip for the occasional face-to-face meeting in New York. Up and back in the same day … tiring but no real problem. Decent WiFi on the train. Work the whole way.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      “There were pandemics in 1958 and 1969 in the US.”

      “Overall, the pandemic caused 1 to 2 million deaths worldwide or 2 to 4 million. The CDC estimates 1.1 million deaths worldwide. According to a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the highest excess mortality occurred in Latin America. About 70,000 to 116,000 people died in the United States. The case fatality rate of Asian flu was approximately 0.67%.[13] The disease was estimated to have a 3% rate of complications and 0.3% mortality in the United Kingdom;[4] it could cause pneumonia by itself, without the presence of secondary bacterial infection. It may have infected as many or more people than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, but the vaccine, improved health care, and the invention of antibiotics contributed to a lower mortality rate.[2]” Wikipedia.

      The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 15% of its value in the second half of 1957. I heard somewhere Ike had US gov. fund $2.5 million to adjust vaccination, and America went on with life.

      As to 1968/99 Pandemic; This from CDC;The 1968 pandemic was caused by an influenza A (H3N2) virus comprised of two genes from an avian influenza A virus, including a new H3 hemagglutinin, but also contained the N2 neuraminidase from the 1957 H2N2 virus. It was first noted in the United States in September 1968. The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the United States. Most excess deaths were in people 65 years and older. The H3N2 virus continues to circulate worldwide as a seasonal influenza A virus. Seasonal H3N2 viruses, which are associated with severe illness in older people, undergo regular antigenic drift.”

      And what did American’s do. This From New York Post.

      “Patti Mulhearn Lydon, 68, doesn’t have rose-colored memories of attending Woodstock in August 1969. The rock festival, which took place over four days in Bethel, NY, mostly reminds her of being covered in mud and daydreaming about a hot shower.

      She was a 17-year-old high-school student from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, when she made the trek to Max Yasgur’s farm with her boyfriend Rod. For three nights, she shared an outdoor bedroom with 300,000 other rock fans from around the country, most of whom were probably not washing their hands for the length of “Happy Birthday” — or at all.

      “There was no food or water, but one of our guys cut an apple into twenty-seven slices and we all shared it,” she said. At some point, a garden hose from one of the farm’s neighbors was passed around and strangers used it as a communal source for bathing and drinking, she said.

      And all of this happened during a global pandemic in which over one million people died.”

      For more see: https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/why-life-went-on-as-normal-during-the-killer-pandemic-of-1969/

      Were we that much tougher in 1969!

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