The COVID-19 pandemic has turned major cities into ghost towns. Streets, restaurants, and parks are practically empty due to the strict social distancing guidelines. Even with the government-mandated restrictions, the positive cases are still on the rise in many cities. So, it comes as no surprise that many are opting to live in the countryside, leading to a modern-day American urban exodus.
Stephanie Steele, a television executive in LA, is just one among many. She, along with her husband, cancer survivor parents, nephew, and their pet dog, escaped LA and are now living in Bigfork. Bigfork in Montana has a small population of 4,270. Due to the sparse population, the countryside is proving to be a safe haven for many.
The pandemic has forced shut the world. It has made not just people, but even businesses realize the need to change their ways of operation. Some things might never go back to their pre-pandemic mode. Could the urban exodus be one of them?
American Urban Exodus – A Permanent Change?
Around a third of the American population say that they would consider moving out of cities to escape the pandemic, as per a new Harris Poll. The poll took in samples of over 2,000 adult Americans from 25th to 27th April. Results show that at least half the population has looked for condos, rents, or apartments in the countryside online. Since the interest rates are remarkably low in comparison to urban areas, the drive to escape has only increased.
John Enyart, a survival consultant and specialist, said that the movement is a predictable one. As cities grow more chaotic, people will naturally be drawn to escape to rural areas. He added that the movement, that millions of Americans are participating in, is a movement towards self-reliance.
Stephenie Steele praised the rural living style and said that it allows her to take long walks in nature without putting anyone in danger.
Virus And Riots Accelerate the “Impromptu Migration Of 2020”
With the pandemic related guidelines, many offices have required their staff to work from home. Months have gone by in this order, and many companies have now realized the efficiency of working from home, setting a national debate on the modern work culture and the need to change it. In this increasingly digital world of ours, business owners too, are realizing the importance of e-commerce. Instead of spending thousands on offices in urban areas, businesses can just as well operate online.
“Impromptu migration of 2020” started even before the pandemic, but recent city riots and the widespread of the virus has just accelerated the process.
Daniel and April Phelan, along with their newborn, left Atlanta and moved to a farm in Georgia. The farm is solar-powered and has livestock as well. April mentioned that the riots in Atlanta happened just a mile away from their home. She added that moving off the grid and living a self-reliant life in the country was better than being cooped up in the city.
The American urban exodus might be the start of a new way of living that does not bother itself with the glitter of the city life.
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Image Credit: Felix Lipov