The Corona Diaries. Isolated in Canada

August 11 2020. Day 158 in isolation. Be careful whom and what you let in

I’m experiencing productivity on a whole new level and I still don’t know why! But today I want to share a mindset strategy and reach out to those not getting as much out of this as me.

In the last month or so I’ve noticed a negative tone creeping into the narrative around COVID-19 and what it means for our businesses, our families and our lives.

I hesitated before posting this because I don’t want to send the wrong message.

For many folks, it’s becoming so easy and effortless to go down a negative rabbit hole of darkness and despair, worrying about stuff that hasn’t happened.

I find it concerning because our energy is a finite source. Wasting it on negative thoughts and feelings or buying into social media threads that lead nowhere is a very poor use of personal resources.

Maybe that’s you or maybe it’s not. I hope it’s not because I know you’ll reap BIG rewards if you direct your time and efforts into helping buyers and sellers in your area.

…but please don’t get me wrong. I know many people are facing challenges.

I honestly can’t imagine how problematic it would be for a couple with two or three kids under ten who both work and are trying to navigate through this unprecedented world event.

A friend from Melbourne just messaged me to tell me the military are in the streets near her house policing the 8pm curfew and it’s doing here head in. She feels like she’s in jail. That must be weird and a little dystopian.

Here in Canada, Summer is winding down and the kids are getting ready to go back to school in September (we’ll see how that goes)

The media being the media is fuelling the fire and feeding our anxieties with alarming headlines and sensational statistics. They would LOVE the world to go to hell in a handbasket because it wins them more eyeballs and ad revenue. Let those with less ambition and discipline consume their destructive but pointless commentary simply because they know no better.

…and right now, the press in all forms must be fizzing with excitement as they decide whether Black Lives Matter protests/riots, trade wars against China or the devastating blast in Beirut deserve priority and space above the fold.

For goodness sake media relax. It’s not the end of the world, it just a few bumps we can all handle if you could only look for ways to help rather than hurt.

We are all facing changes and challenges but I feel many people are over-worrying and stressing out instead of adapting, adjusting and getting on with what needs to happen next.

We need to be careful whom and what we let in.

There is plenty within our control we can and should be doing.

Right now our real estate clients are confused about the market and what to do. I would argue that there are people on your list looking for help and ideas to upsize, downsize or move to the country. (COVID is creating lifestyle changes on a massive scale)

Perhaps you can help out by offering a Virtual Market Opinion like this to not only help out sellers in your area but illustrate how quick and effective you are at pivoting to provide the virtual and digital alternatives they need.

I would look at increasing (not decreasing) quality communication during this time by offering support, ideas, suggestions and community news. Just be yourself and stand for what you believe in.

I’ve said before that nobody really knows how this ‘movie’ ends but we haven’t evolved over millions of years to be taken down by another pandemic. I have no doubt we’ll come through this better, stronger and wiser like we always do. A little faith goes a long way.

I believe there’s an unprecedented opportunity to be the person who stands up and leads at this time. The person who takes ownership and action.

People are looking for leadership and support and if ever there was an industry of A Type leaders and doers who can deliver on this, it’s real estate.

Think about it: Leading and supporting is what we do when we take on a listing for our selling clients. This is what sets us apart. We are chosen because we provide solutions and deliver results. We now have the best opportunity in two generations to show leadership and support in businesses, our families and our communities.

…and let’s keep in mind that COVID has been a huge win for so many agents which is a pure example of glass-half-full thinking.

If you’re given a lemon, make lemonade!

So far this week, six Bestagents members have emailed to say that July 2020 was their best month ever. These leaders have innovated and quickly adapted to the changes needed and their clients love them for it.

Their ideas are brilliant and their attitudes are inspirational. This is accountability and total ownership on a whole new level!

How can I help you get where you want to be?

This month, I’ve made the commitment to support my real estate friends with a number of private coaching calls on the house.

I’ll give you 5 proven ideas (tailored to COVID) to help you power through the rest of 2020 and set you up to handle whatever might come your way.

I’ll show you what our Bestagents members are doing to attract NOW sellers and build marketing funnels that continually drive traffic.

By the way, building your funnel is not just an idea or strategy, in my opinion, it’s your ONLY option.

Use this link to set up a time for our call and I’ll fill you in.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay positive, dream big and take names.

Warm regards


PS: I’m on Eastern time in North America which is why the booking calendar times are limited in you’re in Australia or NZ. If your intuition is telling you to grab a free session with me and you have to get up early or stay up late then do it. I promise you it will be worth the effort! 🙂 Book a time that suits here.

May 21 2020. Day 70 in isolation. Life is good

Checking in to say hello and hoping you’re having a good pandemic and getting what you need, whatever that may be.

The boathouse repairs on the lake here in Canada, which is now our home for the summer is coming along. Last week I hired a friend to help me get the concrete off the boathouse deck and now we’re into replacing rotten beams and looking at new doors and windows (tres expensive!)

Not sure quite how to explain what I’m feeling but I feel like I have more clarity these days. I have more focus. I spend time with the things the MUST be done and don’t sweat the stuff I didn’t get to nor do I feel guilty.

I’m also starting to enjoy the now. Quick example: If I need to go into town (15 mins) to get something, I used to race. Time is money, get back on the tools. Don’t burn daylight! and other stressful quotes would send me into an adrenaline-fueled quest for super-productivity. These days I really enjoy the ride. I slow down for the bends and feel my tires on every bend. My 2013 Ford F150 pick up is a thing of beauty and a veteran of 230,000 kms so I’m careful not to stress her but the driving, riding and trip experience has never been better. I LOVE driving my truck to the point where I borrow stuff from my neighbors just so I can drive there to get it and drive there to take it back.

The sun is setting. I’m going to grab a beer and watch it. Stay awesome and take care.

April 8 2020. Day 27 in isolation. We can conduct a virtual orchestra of real estate business without moving our butts

I’m feeling very fortunate. I don’t have kids to organize and entertain or their meals to plan.
I’m not on a health professional on the front line helping virus sufferers like a number of friends and family who are doing an amazing job saving lives.

I’ve worked remotely from a home office, coffee shop and often my car for the last 15 years so there’s no major shift in work habits and so far, and  touch wood, I don’t have a sore throat or dry cough.

And if I bring the virus back home to Christine who suffers severe asthma… well, I don’t even want to think about that.

In times like this, I believe it’s important to focus on what we can influence.

For a start, we have the power to influence our own thinking. We can wallow in the cancer that is self-doubt and choose to take the low road of despair, pending doom and negative, destructive thinking which, as we all know, never ends well… or we can choose to remain optimistic and hopeful and reach out to others and either ask for support or offer it. Nobody is immune and we’ve all reached this fork in the road at some point. The important question is, what to do when it happens.

When you think about it, we’re all born with the same two options… we can choose to be a tower of strength or a swamp of suffering and if I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that you will move towards what you think about.

You naturally gravitate to where your head’s at. In fact, it’s virtually impossible not to. For so many, success begins when we make the decision to hack into our optimism and achievement tools with things like exercise, meditation, a solid routine, focussing on the right business actions for these times and tuning our radar to actively scan for opportunities. (did that sound mercenary?)

Since this thing started I’ve had the chance to connect with agents in many different places. Sometimes we email, sometimes we talk on the phone or face to face it with a Zoom call.

I’m honored and humbled that many real estate contacts (including quite a few I don’t know) have reached out to me for help and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share any ideas, suggest solutions and workshop options at a time like this and I’d like to extend the offer here and now. If I can help, let me know. Reach out and say hello and tell me what’s going on. I’m ready to welcome your message and looking forward to helping out wherever I can.

I can tell you I don’t have all the answers for what’s happening right now but I don’t believe anyone does. I do have some solid ideas and strategies I learned in the early 90s and 2008 that are working well for my private client group,

This morning we woke up to a very cold cottage because the fire went out during the night and there’s no other heating. I needed some kindling to get things underway but it had rained overnight and the kindling was wet. I cursed myself for being unprepared.

If you’ve ever tried to light a fire with wet wood you’ll know it’s a challenge but it’s the perfect metaphor for what’s happening in real estate at the moment. So many agents are trying to light a fire with wet wood. The things they were doing in February are not working in April. Adaption is key.

There’s no doubt this global health crisis will trigger an economic downturn and probably the most severe we will see in our lives

Last week I checked in on my 87-year-old mother in law to see how she was doing. She lived through the blitz in London during the second world war and I was interested to know if she noticed any parallels. “Not really” she said. “During the blitz we honestly didn’t know if that day would be our last. Bombs were falling out of the sky and killing our neighbors. With this pandemic, all we need to do is stay inside and keep ourselves busy.”

In my view, this event is dramatically different from the early 90s recession and the mortgage meltdown of 2008. It’s different because we can’t go out and support local businesses. We can’t head out to our favourite bar, go for a meal, buy a fresh pair of jeans or buy a car because we’re stuck at home under personal self-arrest as it’s the right thing to do. The COVID 19 Pandemic means millions of businesses closed virtually overnight and with that, the monetary flow of the economy that makes the world go round. That’s why this time it’s very different. Many of us are lucky to live in countries that will support us with resources. But that can only last so long.

However, what we do know is that it will end… and as real estate professionals, I think we’re lucky.  Here are 4 reasons why:

First off, we’re essentially self-employed. We don’t really rely on anyone for ‘a job’. Our mission is to find property owners looking to sell and show them how we can make it happen.
Second, We can work from anywhere we like which right now is our home office or kitchen table. We can work the hours we want and don’t need to burn daylight on a lengthy commute. We’re professionally autonomous and I’m tipping many agents will adopt this as their new norm from now on.
Third, we have established contacts in our database who may need real estate help right now. It’s knowing how to reach out and what to say that’s critically important. By the way, if I see another ‘I’m Here For You’ or ‘we’re in this together’ email I’ll scream. Your contact’s inbox is jammed with the same subject lines. Don’t go there!
And fourth, we have so many amazing tech tools to make it happen. We can conduct a virtual orchestra of real estate business without moving our butts from our home-office chair. This is the remote revolution so many in our industry have been hoping for. For those of us prepared and equipped, this is our time.

And here’s the thing: Real estate in your area will be sold in the next 3 months. Maybe not the same volume as the last three but property transactions will happen.

Our challenge? Right now people can’t go out. So what do folks do when they’re stuck at home? In 2020 they spend more time watching Netflix, more time on social media and more time sending and answering emails. In other words, more screen time.

So how can real estate professionals use this change to maintain our connections and stay actively involved and open for business?

There are a 5 ways:

1. Be willing to put yourself in places where opportunity can find you, and by that I mean creatively online. We can ramp up our community involvement. Which services are open, which are not? Who’s delivering and how we can go about ordering. Supply names and numbers? Who needs support in your community and what can you do?

2. There are still essential services serving your community. Who are they and how can they be contacted. Let your people know. Be a conduit of highly useful and relevant information.

3. In the last few weeks, I’ve done more chores around the house than I have in the last 3 years. I’ve painted, re-floored, replaced lights, cleaned out the garage and right now, I’m rebuilding a deck. It’s funny but my ‘honey do’ list continues to grow.
So plenty of people are using this time to keep busy and tick off tasks that need completing. Can you help your contacts with your local traders list? We just sent a new template live at   All you need to do is build a list of local traders and offer to send your people a pdf. Our local hardware store won’t allow people in but you can order over the phone and pick up. Same with the supermarket. If this is available in your area, let your people know.

4. Get proactive in your marketing and offer an online Virtual Market Update.  All you need to do is send your contacts an email and offer a contact-free property value opinion via a live and customized landing page. If you’d like to see a very cool online landing page sample that does just that, let me know. Details are in the shownotes for this episode.  The agents using this landing page are winning leads because they can virtually prospect without cold calling. You can take it to the streets by setting up a Facebook campaign to promote your virtual market update offer.

5. When you’re ready to get your listing to market, ask your owner or tenant to take the shots. Our buddy Brad Filipponi over at has just made a very cool video that will give you and your owner or tenant the very best instructions on how to make that happen. They’ve even done a pre-photo checklist and you can watch the video and download the list in the shownotes.  Just go to

I hope I’ve shared some ideas you can put to work ASAP in your business and please keep in mind, these ideas are out there working right now. All you need to do is get started, implement and reach out if you need support.

So how long will this last? It’s up to us. The Chinese model shows things are just starting to get back to normal after 12 weeks but that was with a military enforced lockdown and quarantine and god only knows what else but clear evidence shows that staying home and isolated works.

When the Covid virus first started to escalate in California, the Governor ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay home. They were the first state to do so.

New York, with a population of less than 20 million did not.
Today, April 8 2020, the California numbers are 17000 cases and 452 deaths compared to New York’s 140,000 cases and deaths over 5000.

Okay there were a few other factors like California’s aggressive testing and better access to personal protection equipment but come on…  8 times more deaths and cases in a state half the size. I guess one Governor is enjoying his last term.

There is no vaccine just yet so I think the evidence is clear. The fastest way to work our way back to normal is to stay home and stay isolated. New Zealand shut down hard and shut down early while amazingly, my mother’s nursing home south of Melbourne is still allowing visitors. Maybe they’ve stopped watching the news!

April 7 2020. Day 26 in isolation. Progress

The concrete removal is going well and I’m feeling more confident about the project but it’s back-breaking work. I hired a concrete cutting machine from the hardware store (the day before they closed) and crisscrossed the area into 250 squares that weigh about 10KG each which means I have 2500KG or more than 5000 lbs of concrete to pry up and carry out. I’m doing a bit each day.

We have an amazing community here on the lake and I was able to borrow a neighbor’s front-end loader and drop the squares into the bucket and dump it out the back of the cottage.

The nights are cold and as the mercury gets below freezing, our need for firewood increases. We normally don’t open the cottage until May so we’re super-early this year. This morning Christine and I woke up with cold noses and no fire so we had to hustle to build it up and get the place warm again.

I work in the boathouse which has electric baseboard heating, and Christine is set up in the cottage so I need to keep up the firewood supply. That will be today’s big chore.

When I first opened up the cottage on May 25 the ice was about 10 inches thick. It’s melting fast and with a high of 12C today I think it will be the last day.

Our days are routine. Like many of the cottagers on the lake, we’re pretty social and miss hanging out with our friends. A first-world problem compared to the suffering and anxiety that’s happening around the world.

Today is gorgeous and starting to warm up.

April 2 2020. Day 21 in isolation. Concrete

Back in 2015 we bought a cottage on a lake. There are actually two buildings; an old converted garage we call the cottage and a boathouse built over the water. The boathouse is structurally compromised from years of neglect and some pretty poor maintenance decisions.

Get this: One former owner decided the best way to fix the deck on the top level was to pour concrete on top of the old deck. That was maybe twelve years ago and ever since, water from snow and storms leaks into the subfloor and has rotted the beams. The concrete is starting to break up and fall off. (The other owners refer to the former owner as “a bit of a deckhead”) Last summer, one piece of concrete the size of a boot narrowly missed the bride causing her to forcefully suggest I consider repairs.

So my job now is to break up the concrete and strip everything back so I can replace the subfloor beams and lay fresh deck boards. This will look way better and stop the water issues.

But honestly, I’ve never done anything like this before and I have no idea what lies ahead. Am I going to start a project that quickly spirals into a triple-A grade shit show where I need to call in expensive contractor help and have Christine give me that idiot-with-a-hammer stare? In fact, if it does go ‘pear-shaped’ I wouldn’t be able to find a contractor to rescue me as everyone around here is hunkered down.

Or will I pull it off and emerge the hero without causing the entire boathouse to fall into the lake or fall through the deck onto the ice below? (A Hospital is the last place I need to be right now)

As I sit here writing this and glancing with some trepidation out to said deck I have no idea what’s going to happen. But I do know it’s not going to fix itself!

March 30 2020. Day 18 in isolation. The Garage

The days are starting to blend into weeks and in a few days, we’ll start our third week holed up in the loft.

The feared explosion in the number of people contracting the virus has arrived as the global tally moves rapidly towards one million.  The speed with which this thing can spread blows my mind.

But as far as I know, the only way to shorten its effect and return to a normal world is to self-isolate. There are rumors of breakthroughs to produce a vaccine but they are just that.

Then why are people still roaming around? In a nursing home 20 minutes from the cottage, 9 people have died and 35 staff have C-19 symptoms. How can this happen when we’ve been aware of the potential danger of this pandemic for months?

Canada is yet to apply any form of enforced lockdown but fortunately, most people are staying home. Most people, even those in the reduced risk categories are doing what they are told and staying in.

Christine has adapted to our new routine and rallies her team with an 8.30 am Zoom call each weekday morning. Coincidentally, her company, busting at the seams with growth, was about to roll out a work-from-home strategy and suddenly it’s here and her people are doing really well.

For the first time, I get to see and hear what her workdays are like.

I’ve given her the run of the loft during the day and set up shop in the garage below. After spending the last two weeks cleaning up the garage and throwing out or selling stuff we don’t need, I have a nice space that’s warm, quiet and private. Perfect for writing and thinking.

We have enough food for another 3 or 4 weeks and I’m beginning to be grateful for my late February Costco missions and planning meals and storage. There’s plenty of food and yes, toilet paper, at the local Foodland but any trip or visit anywhere puts me at risk of contraction and infecting Christine. As an asthmatic that wouldn’t be pretty so, I’m staying in and keeping super busy looking after my private client group and Jigglar.

So here I sit at my $60 Costco table sharing the space with covered snowmobiles, workbench, tools, power saws and my 18-foot SeaRay bow-rider that I’m hoping to get into the lake this summer.

My heart goes out to people forced to stay home with someone they don’t get along with. That would suck!

March 25 2020. Day 13 in isolation. The Cottage

I made a dash for the lake yesterday. I need better Internet. 

We have a rather ghetto but comfy boathouse and converted garage on a lake about 70 minutes from the Loft and Chalet. It’s 2 hours from Toronto.

It happened after a funeral in 2012. At the wake, which was on a beautiful lake north of Toronto, we got talking to a woman about real estate and told her we were looking to buy.

She told us about this little place down the south end that had been on the market since February. This was early June.

To own a cottage on a lake has been my dream. We bought it and Christine and I were married October 5 the same year.

The cottage doesn’t stay open in the winter. The lake freezes and snow falls. It’s colder than a mother-in-law’s stare.

But Summer’s coming soon and in all honesty, I’m looking for projects plus I’m as hyper and anxious as Harvey Weinstein’s cellmate so yesterday I drove over, cranked up the heat in the boathouse and lit the fire in the main cottage.

Today I chainsawed a hole in the ice to bucket water back to the kitchen and bathroom.

I feel like a frontier fur trader from the 1890s.

Christine is back at the loft managing a team of 100+ who have just started working from home. She’s totally awesome.

March 23 2020. Day 11 in isolation. The real cost of worry.

Wow. There sure is a lot of anxiety out there!

…and if I get one more message from some company I gave my email address to a few years back telling me they are here for me, I’m going to scream!

It’s snowing outside. It started before dawn and hasn’t stopped. It’s lovely but I know plenty of people are starting to freak out.

So I’m dedicating today’s message to anyone feeling a bit of panic and overwhelm.

The producers at CNN and Fox and every news channel on the planet must be fizzing with the eyeballs they’re winning during this crisis. They love painting doomsday scenarios that play on the minds of the vulnerable.  It’s like they’re all competing to come up with the most frightening headlines.

Eff that!

I’m convinced now, more than ever, that this is definitely a time for a mindset reset and practicing some good old fashioned thought control. Here’s why:

There is a substantial longterm cost that comes with constant worry.

Yes! Things are grim and the unknown is well…  just that, the unknown. Our world has been plunged into uncertainty and it’s messing with our heads.

But we’ve faced bigger challenges. Our grandparents were called to fight in wars. We’re being called to wash our hands and sit on the couch.

Investing ‘think energy’ into worrying about things we can’t control won’t help us.  It can only hurt. We need to accept that spending brain power on worrying not only gives us a zero return, it leaves us in a worse position.

Sure, staying informed and planning is important but crippling your head with spiraling worry gets you nowhere.

If you were asked to write down all the things you are worried about, it would be a lengthy list and your fears would manifest.

But that’s exactly what so many people are doing over and over in their minds every day.

When you’re cooped up at home and your brain is left to its own devices, it can wander into enemy territory.

If you’re anxious and stressing each day, try some of these ‘tricks’ to turn things around.

  • Keep clear of Social Media. It’s mostly bad news.
  • Mediate. (I’ve started doing this more since we’ve been locked up and I’m amazed how much it’s helping me think, decide, plan and generally keep an elevated and enlightened mental attitude amidst the chaos)
  • Get your news from the right (trustworthy) sources like CDC, WHO and your local public health authorities
  • Exercise each day as early as you can.  It will set you up for a better day
  • Reach out to friends and family. If you need help ask for it. If you can offer help, strength and support, deliver it.
  • Indulge your passions. Write down your dreams. Make a list of mini-projects you’d like to complete this week. Take an online course to grow your business, or start on online business or learn photography or cooking or Latvian belt making or whatever floats your boat. There’s a world of great advice and advanced guidance out there waiting. Use your Pandemic wisely! (see list below of free online things)

My buddy and mindset coach Jet Xavier has some great strategies for this. One idea is if you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed with events, just make the decision to ‘mindswitch’ to something better.

Have a ‘go-to’ distraction that keeps you focussed and feeling positive.

Understand this thing has a beginning, a middle and an end. Our leaders are asking us to serve by staying home and reach out to help others.

I’m going to finish cleaning out the garage then maybe paint something.

Stay safe and stay inside.

March 21 2020. Day 9 in isolation. We’re way past that.

It’s Saturday. Outside it’s -9 degrees and the second day of Spring. The sky is Facebook blue.

627 deaths in Italy in the last 24 hours. That’s not great news. Meanwhile, Sydney’s Bondi Beach was packed with people on Friday seemingly oblivious to the danger of contraction and spreading the virus to those less able to handle the consequences.

I know folks are worried about fuelling an economic downturn but I genuinely believe we are way past worrying about that. This dog is already off the chain.

Germany has just announced a curfew for its 83 million citizens. All countries should be doing that.

The countries that have been slow to respond like Italy, Spain, Iran and even the US are starting to pay the price of delay and inaction.

I guess governments can only do so much to help out. I think we’ve reached the point where we need to be accountable and take responsibility for our own health and safety and for those that we love and care for.

If you’re not already staying home, can I suggest you grab some supplies and self-isolate today?

Experts are saying the better we can contain the spread, the fewer people will become infected and the faster we can look at getting back to normal. That’s the quick and dirty plan that seems to be working in countries where the virus is beginning to be contained and the number of new cases is falling.

I’m doing my best to embrace this change. Loving the peace and quiet and the chance to finish a few jobs and start some new projects.

Stay positive, stay safe and stay home 🙂

March 20 2020. Day 8 in isolation. I smell a big fat Wuhan Province rat

Well, that was an interesting first week.

When we left the city last Thursday night, it was going to be just for the weekend.

Eight days later the Kung Flu has gone postal. The world as we know it has changed so fast and I only packed one pair of fresh undies!

And I’d lay money that wannabe Netflix movie producers are searching for COVID-19 scripts like crazy.

It’s funny where your mind goes at 3am on day 8 in self-isolation.

I have to wonder if one of those movie scripts lands on a popular conspiracy theory.

Does anyone else smell a rat? …or should I say a bat?

Is it just me or is it amazing China recovered so fast from this thing?

And let’s build a 1600 bed 80,000 Sq Metre hospital in 8 days! …Sure.

Then we’re going to lock down millions of people in an entire province to reduce the spread …Piece a cake.

I’m not big on conspiracy theories. I believe the lunar landing was real and Roswell isn’t.

But come on! Is it a stretch to theorize China, reeling under US trade sanctions, an ongoing trade war and more pent up hate for the West than ever before, bred this thing?

Okay… just a theory and probably bogus. But hey, your mind goes into dark places when you’re cooped up in a 70o square foot space with crappy WIFI and no fresh undies!

And did I miss the Chinese leader’s apology?

The one where he says “Sorry for fucking up the world” and “Sorry for ruining a gazillion weddings” and “Sorry for triggering an economic Armageddon” and “Sorry for allowing our health and safety regulations to deteriorate so badly that something this evil can be born”

Nope. Didn’t hear that. Must have missed it on CNN when I was polishing my Karate trophies.

This is a highly secretive regime with a black belt in lying so who really knows the numbers or what’s actually going on?

The information coming out of China is sketchy but if what they say can be believed and the number of new daily cases is close to zero then that only happened with some very strict and harshly enforced stay-at-home policies.

Some hospital images I saw looked to have bars on the windows and the army or police or both were armed and present at the entrances to many buildings.

There’s no way anywhere else in the world is being that militant.

In other news, the floor I’m laying in the loft entrance is coming along and I still have all my fingers!

Stay safe and stay home everyone.


March 18 2020. Day 6 in isolation. Finally starting to get into a routine.

Up at 5am. Complete 10km run. Meditate for 30 minutes then Breakfast (kale, celery and apple juice) then wake up from that bad dream sweaty and anxious from the thought of drinking kale juice!

There are no blinds in the loft so we get up with the sun which is around 7am and that’s only going to get earlier as we get into summer.

Here’s what’s happening today:

Most, if not all Canadian provinces have now declared a State Of Emergency. The US-Canada border is now closed to all but non-essential traffic so no more beer and outlet mall runs to Buffalo New York which is about 2 hours south of us.

Ford and GM announced today they are shutting down all US plants. (That’s huge!)

There are now confirmed reports of COVID cases in all 50 US states plus most Provinces and territories up here.

The first Canadian COVID related death happened yesterday just 20 minutes South of us.

Between us, Christine and I have 3 kids overseas trying to get home. (I forgot about my stepson Joey coming back from Thailand in yesterday’s post)

They all have plane tickets with direct flights back into Canada so hoping no further restrictions will interfere with those plans.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just pledged a support package of $82 Billion. He’s now delivering daily AM reports which is a clear sign he’s off the weed and on the tools. Today he told us to self-isolate and help our neighbors.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo estimates the number of COVID cases will peak in 45 days. But that’s based on the Chinese experience and I have so many questions about that so who knows. Some experts say the summer heat will reduce the life of the virus but that’s untested.

It’s very quiet up here. And cold. Our place is in a subdivision of about 300 homes. There are normally few signs of life but with folks working from home we’re starting to see and meet more neighbors. Everyone seems pretty relaxed.

The trees are still bare but the Blue Jays and Woodpeckers are starting to appear. The big Woodpeckers with the bright red notch on their heads are so amazing but tricky to find.

I got a great deal on 10 boxes of flooring from Costco this week so I’m going to have a crack at laying it in the entrance downstairs. What’s the worse that can happen?

I’ve just completed a detailed supply audit. I think we have enough food for a few weeks and enough wine for a few days.

March 17 2020.  Day 5 Self-Isolation.  Is this the new normal?

Today the Ontario government declared a State Of Emergency so we’re in isolation. We’re making some changes but apart from that, it’s business as usual. 

I’m starting this post to monitor things and hopefully help my real estate friends weather the storm. We are in this together and we will come through it together.

There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when I thought the Coronavirus wasn’t a big deal.

I vaguely remember the SARS virus back in 2003 but it seemed to come and go relatively quickly.

I don’t recall too much anxiety, fear or even panic.

I certainly don’t remember any economic fallout.

It seems this health emergency/crisis has arrived fully loaded with all of the above.

I’ll admit to sitting back for a bit and waiting to see what happened before I reached out to you and the thousands of awesome folks that subscribe to my VIP mailing list to talk about this.

I researched some decent sources and started following some well-respected experts and the warnings were there.

Then a few things happened:

The so-called Coronavirus turned into the ever more sinister COVID-19. When you see it in caps it looks like some kind of warning you see on the back of a truck that ships dangerous chemicals.

Next thing you know the World Health Organization (WHO) identified it as a Pandemic and then…. well, things got crazy.

Right now I know a lot of people are scared and more than a little freaked out which is totally getable.

I’m trying to get two of my kids traveling in Australia back to Toronto in a crazy climate of overloaded airline helplines and prices that seem to double every time I check. But we all have worries.

We worry about our own health and elderly or infirm parents (like mine) or grandparents who are identified as being in the higher risk category.

We worry about our bills and jobs and businesses and if you’re an employer, those that rely on us for a living wage.

We worry about our investments (our shares look like they’ve gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson)

And we worry about the long-term economic fallout.

It’s easy to understand how so many things to worry about can overwhelm and cause anxiety. But that’s a slippery slope.

In the last week, I’ve had some great discussions with friends, family, and members of my private client group who have made a number of valuable and interesting observations.

My big takeaway from these chats is that while it’s natural for people to worry, we need to accept and adjust. Where we are now will be the new normal for a while. There’s nothing we can do about it except for following health recommendations and staying safe.

We also need to know that, like every crisis faced in the past, this will pass .

These are times to stay carefully informed (be wary of fake news) and stay prepared.

There will also be opportunities to do things because of this event and as I learn more about those ideas, I’ll share them here.

If you need help, ask for it. If you can provide help, offer it. 

I’m here for you and I’m ready to do whatever I can. Let’s be good drivers in heavy traffic and do what we can with what we have.

By the way, I’ve worked from home since 2005 and I love it. I churn out content like crazy and walk to the beat of my own drum. Seriously, there’s nothing like it! 

I know, when this is all done and dusted, that so many folks will be addicted to the work-from-home lifestyle.

Christine, Roxi (our boxer) and I are holed up in the loft above our garage. (see pic above) It’s a little bit thrown together but it’s fun. Big question will be for how long can she can handle my dad jokes! Tonight we’re watching Contagion. 🙂