Coronavirus - He Did WHAT?!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Grants Pass, OR 199909023

Coronavirus - He Did What?!Coronavirus - He Did What?!  I received a text from one of my agents, who said one of our local mortgage brokers has coronavirus.  I asked where she heard this, and she forwarded me a Facebook post written by the local mortgage broker, which said that he "just got diagnosed with the Coronavirus" and he was "stuck in quarantine."

Later in the day, I found out that it was all a joke.  The mortgage broker ended up deleting the FB post after alarm bells went off in our local Realtor community.  But, there was no follow-up mention on FB that it was all a joke.

What do you think?  Should a member of our Realtor community (or anyone for that matter) be joking about such things?  Is simply deleting the post enough?  Should he apologize and let everyone know it was a joke?  Should he be hung by his toes in the town square until he calls Uncle? (wink-wink)  Should he be forgiven for crying wolf? 

Posted by

Melinda Peterson

Melinda Peterson, ABR, CRS

Oregon Principal Broker


Real Estate Cafe LLC


Serving Central and Southern Oregon

Inspired by her love for dreamy homes and lattes, Mel specializes in creating relationships of land and life... with a latte laughter =)


Discover Central and Southern Oregon 

Comments (35)

Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Now that is truly unprofessional and pretty ignorant on his part.  Wouldn't want to do business with him. 

Mar 10, 2020 07:24 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Hi Sharon!  Your sentiments seem to be shared by others here in the rain.  I was quite surprised that a so-called "professional" would do something like this.

Mar 11, 2020 10:21 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Mel My initial reaction:  dumbstruck.  And after a brief moment of reflection...I am sticking with that thought...

Mar 10, 2020 07:58 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Lol Michael Jacobs!  I was dumbstruck too when I heard it was "all a joke."  What the fish?! 

Mar 11, 2020 10:22 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

MAN. That is the second time this week I've heard of someone 'playing sick as a joke/for attention' and I can't wrap my mind around that.



Mar 11, 2020 11:10 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I hear ya Candice!  It's pretty crazy, given the current climate out there!

Mar 11, 2020 11:31 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I have to admit, if that were a lender I use, I probably wouldn't use him again. Not only was it childish, it is also scary in a community that's already lost most of its collective mind. :) 

Mar 11, 2020 03:44 PM
Karen Climer

I agree.  Normally, I wouldn't cut off business because of one incident.  But this is one of those unusual cases where one incident is egregious enough to move on.  There are plenty of professional lenders who know what is appropriate to joke about and know what is not appropriate to joke about.

Apr 11, 2020 03:47 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Grants Pass, OR - Bend, OR
@TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS

Totally agree Meems.  It scared a few of my agents who had contact with him. 

Mar 11, 2020 03:56 PM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I'm all for the toe-hanging option. There is funny and there is irresponsible.....

Mar 12, 2020 01:24 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

LOL Jane!  I tend to agree.  Very irresponsible and immature 

Mar 15, 2020 02:36 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hi Mel, Guess he wants to close shop for awhile by announcing this to the world on FB

Mar 14, 2020 07:49 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I hear ya Will.  The thought occured to me as well. Is he crazy?!

Mar 15, 2020 02:37 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mel:

That was completely irresponsible and not the least bit funny. This is not a joking matter.


Mar 14, 2020 02:47 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson

I couldn't agree more Jeff.  Given the unpredictability of this virus, and the panic it has caused, this isn't a time for pranking people!

Mar 15, 2020 02:39 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

That guy must feel pretty stupid right now.  How can anyone think this is funny

Mar 17, 2020 09:12 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Unbelievable!  No one should joke about something that serious that might have rippled effects on an industry!

Mar 23, 2020 01:03 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Mel shaking my head on the stupidity of this lender. He would not be getting any business from me after that childish/foolish stunt. And.....I've heard a few other things lately that make me......wonder??? Why do these clueless adults tthink there will be no consequences after their stupid stunts. Many relationships can be ruined by stupid, thoughtless acts or words.

Apr 10, 2020 02:53 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

My vote: NOT a joking matter

Apr 10, 2020 05:08 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Mel, that was not funny. Can you imagine what agents who had been in contact with that person went through, no matter how briefly?  I've seen a lot of funny memes on FB relating to the virus, but that wasn't one of them. We definitely need to have the ability to laugh during this time, but whatever it is has to be funny and not scary.

Apr 10, 2020 07:25 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Jokes are supposed to be funny not cause fear or panic. We have enough bad information 24/7 from the media about this virus we dont need more. Hopefully he learned a lesson from this. 

Apr 11, 2020 12:06 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

After a stunt like that I think that his business is definitely in quarantine and very possible dead - I think that what he did to agents who work with him was unforgiveable - the fear he created is unimaginable. 

Apr 11, 2020 05:50 AM
Realty Pack
Realty Pack - Bel Air, CA
Real Estate Blog

Hello, Melinda Paterson. I can't believe that someone would joke about this. This is really unprofessional.

Apr 11, 2020 06:41 AM
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Wow, I can't imagine why he thought that was a good idea. COVID-19 is no joke, there are many people seriously ill and dying from it. I would never use him again if I had in the past. That is very disturbing and not funny in any way.

Apr 11, 2020 07:08 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
Texas Pride Realty Group Brokered by HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

He'd be doing everyone a big favor by finding another profession. Perhaps he should go to nursing school and actually then be able to help those who truly are sick.

Apr 11, 2020 08:04 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

A few neighbors of mine have already died from Covid and most people I know are at a miniumum of high risk of exposure to the virus. I have a great sense of humor, but this isn't funny.

I haven't left my apartment in 9 days- and 1 one time in the last 3 weeks I went out it was to fedex to address an urgent matter that I have been working on for nearly 11 years and I came straight home afterward.

Apr 11, 2020 03:44 PM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

What's his next joke - that someone died, oh just kidding.  Or that he has cancer, oh just kidding.  

There are ways to joke ABOUT this situation.  For example, how we are all going crazy being trapped in our houses, or the toilet paper shortage.  But it's not funny to joke that you have it when you don't.

Apr 11, 2020 03:51 PM