Millions Flee The Cities, But Will They Ever Return?
[American Conservative] For years, it seemed everyone was predicting the doom of small town USA. As manufacturing declined and smaller farms were made unprofitable by large-scale agriculture, cities—the seats of power and influence—became the be-all, end-all of our economy. The young were fleeing to them, companies were settling in them, and the small towns of flyover country were shrinking day-by-day.

COVID-19 is changing that.

Cities are no longer the shiny cosmopolitan playgrounds they once were. Not only are densely-populated cities a nightmare for virus spread, but urban areas were also hit harder by unemployment, and many of them have become ghost towns as inhabitants comply with social-distancing rules.

Today, many seek new places to live, and, as it turns out, the American countryside has a lot to offer. Over the years, technological advances in communication and collaboration have prompted many predictions that the popularity of high-density urban living would one day decline, but these predictions never came to pass. Although the internet and other technologies made remote work possible, and although the cost of living in the biggest U.S. cities continued to rise, it seemed that the physical and psychological benefits of big cities continued to outweigh the negatives.

Enter the pandemic. The COVID crisis stripped cities of all their benefits and heightened all their hardships. Due to high population density, health and safety concerns skyrocketed and mobility took a nosedive. Meanwhile, COVID-related unemployment made the already high cost of living unbearable.

Over the past few months, job loss forced many to leave cities and return to family homes. It’s estimated that nearly 3 million adults moved back in with parents or grandparents in March and April. After all, city living quickly loses its luster when you can’t socialize over drinks after work, enjoy dinner at the hottest restaurant, or attend the coolest gallery opening or music event—especially if all your friends have already left.
Posted by: Besoeker 2020-08-03