The increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in densely-populated areas is driving those who can afford it, or who can rely on friends and relatives, to move away from cities. COVID-related job losses are also forcing a large-scale return to rural family homes.
In the short-term, significant numbers of incoming city-dwellers increase the risk of disease-transmission in rural places, many of which may have limited infrastructure and resources. Mass movement away from cities poses additional risks to those travelling.
Some employers are already seeing homeworking as a viable long-term option, reducing the need to live in physical proximity to a workplace. Future decisions on where to live could be based on other factors, such as affordability of housing or proximity to areas of natural beauty or to family. Could this lead to more equitable home-ownership, more appreciation of nature, increased support for elderly or vulnerable family members?
Signal spotter: Ksenia Benifand
America’s Biggest Cities Were Already Losing Their Allure. What Happens Next? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/us/coronavirus-moving-city-future.html
Companies see work-from-home as a viable long-term option if regulatory issues can be addressed https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/companies-see-work-from-home-as-a-viable-long-term-option-if-regulatory-issues-can-be-addressed/articleshow/74985839.cms
Coronavirus: Plea for restraint as rural areas inundated with visitors escaping COVID-19 https://news.sky.com/story/cornavirus-britains-rural-towns-warn-dont-come-here-to-escape-covid-19-11961697
France’s coronavirus lockdown pits city vs. country https://www.politico.eu/article/france-coronavirus-lockdown-pits-city-paris-vs-country/
India racked by greatest exodus since partition due to coronavirus http://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/india-wracked-by-greatest-exodus-since-partition-due-to-coronavirus