The numbers are staggering.
Nearly 30 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19.
The numbers are widespread.
Half a million Americans have died from COVID-19.
The numbers are heartbreaking.
More than 100,000 small businesses have permanently shut down during the pandemic.
The numbers are continuing.
Nearly 10 million Americans are still unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
And that is just the toll this pandemic has had on the U.S. The global numbers are even more unbelievable. When you continually see statistics like the ones above it is hard not to become numb to the overall health and economic devastation wrought by COVID-19.
Seeing images of the late February candle lighting vigil in Washington, D.C. commemorating the lives lost due to COVID-19 was a stark reminder that behind all of those numbers are real people and families.
I realize I have been extremely fortunate throughout this pandemic. My immediate family has stayed healthy. I have remained employed. The pandemic has certainly changed many things for my family, but compared to so many others those changes have been merely alterations to our daily routines or inconveniences.
As difficult as the last year has been, and to be sure we are far from being out of the woods, there are signs of hope. The hospitalization and death rates continue to move in the right direction, especially in some of the hardest hit parts of the country. The continued rollout of effective vaccines will not only slow the spread of COVID-19 but help people safely and confidently return to their pre-pandemic lives.
REITs and real estate owners have played an important role across the country throughout the pandemic. Working to support tenants, employees, local companies, and their communities, REITs have responded to local needs to help people weather the storm.
We know so much more about the virus now than we did a year ago, but uncertainty still remains and vigilance is still needed. But our nation now has a path forward to rebuild from COVID-19. REITs, for their part, will play a key role in, building and improving the country’s infrastructure, and providing safe and accessible structures for the economy to recover.
The past 12 months have been an unprecedented time in our country’s history. The tragedies and suffering wrought by COVID-19 can never be forgotten. But we are a nation that adapts. We adapted to a socially distant world, and we will once again adapt to a world where we interact face-to-face with one another at our homes, our work, and in our leisure time. And REITs, and the 516,000 properties they own and operate will play a key role in bringing America back together.
Editor in Chief