I am writing this not as a medical expert but on this virus's potential architectural impact on the quality and value of residential and commercial real estate.
The most recent understanding is that Covid-19 is most effectively transmitted as an airborne pathogen which can be expelled by coughing, sneezing, loud talking, singing, etc. further than a 6-foot distance to others in a stable environment -- one in which little air movement occurs. See this article in the Atlantic.
In outdoor areas, there is less chance of being infected. In areas with much wind movement, it is nearly impossible to transmit as it is diluted by the large volume of air. This is the clue in order to manage infection indoors.
But our activities are mostly indoors for many hours of the day. Education, business, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
And unfortunately, the mechanical means by which air is distributed and possibly cleansed are below any current recommended standards to prevent further transmission of Covid-19.
If buildings of all types had constant fresh air intake and a higher volume of air pushed in and evacuated on a regular basis, we would have a better chance of fighting not only Covid-19 but any future airborne viruses, including influenzas and other diseases.
But in order to make outside air 'usable' for indoor working and living, the humidity and temperature at least need to be modified before blowing through ducts and grills. In some hospitals and allergy defensive systems in private homes, hepa and other filters can reduce particulates.
My guess is that more than 90% of all air conditioning and forced heating for buildings of all occupancies do not have periodic fresh air intake which means the same quality of air is recirculated constantly. Advanced systems in offices and some residences have programmed fresh air on intervals.
Covid-19 can stay in the air long enough to keep active and continue to infect. The exact period of time it is potent is not known but simply moving air through registers and ducts in any building where this pathogen is known to be active poses a continual threat to everyone sharing the same AC or heating system.
Our current machinery in public and private buildings is not designed to run continuously and at high volume, which would be the first step to ward off infection. In extreme outdoor temperatures of heat and cold, the existing mechanical systems would have to heat the coldest air and cool the hottest constantly and no existing system is designed for that.
In fact, unless every mechanical system is upgraded for higher volume and continual air intake and recirculation every single building worldwide is nothing but an incubator and no one is really safe.
The costs for retrofitting all existing systems is completely out of practical means, and to mandate future construction with these systems means very high initial costs and outrageously high monthly energy costs. However, retrofitting with UV light will kill most pathogens in forced-air heating and cooling systems. They are readily available for most residential applications and probably should be installed to ward off many other potential infections.
Schools, if opening now, will be shut down quickly as the virus will simply move from room to room using the same air conditioning and heating systems and infect the student body.
If you must go to any public venue, do not stay or linger very long as the ventilation system is basically pushing the same infected air around.
The idea of multi-gen living, as you might suspect, is now an obvious negative as too many people too close to each other for long periods of time under the same roof and breathing the same recirculated air means that everyone will be infected. Unfortunately, the many small retirement centers and clustered hospital rooms in small clinics with single HVAC systems are susceptible, as we have seen, to virulent activity.
Developers and builders may offer optional upgraded systems in homes and small public buildings but unless the government mandates improved HVAC systems, airborne transmission will continue unabated. See my in-depth essay here.
Large high rise office buildings tend to generate more heat within than is absorbed from the outer skin and are constantly in a cooling mode. There are requirements for certain occupancies for upgraded air exchange and this is the key. Without constant clean air replacing breathed air immediately the chance of infection increases.
Due to the burden of initial cost, operation, and upkeep most new construction will not see the systems required to keep infection in check installed.
It seems now that only vaccines and other remedial medications will actually slow down or reduce the deadly effects of this virus.
In other news...
Shutdowns or delayed openings in many states and cities have inconvenienced a large number of city dwellers to the point that they are moving to suburban locations and working from second homes or seeking new homes. Rural areas are seeing a seller's market for homes outside metro areas. Houses on large lots and acreage are being bought in higher numbers than townhomes and other higher density models. Realtor.com reports: "During the second quarter of the year, suburban home searches by city dwellers in the 100 largest metro areas increased to 51%"
Commercial real estate -- offices and condos -- is seeing a drop in value as the need for business lease space is evaporating as more companies order their workers to stay home and digitally commute. Those living in high-density condos are also electing to move, at least temporarily, outside of the city limits. It is turning into a buyer's market now.
For years homes in the United States that have included small work areas and offices, many still do not have a sufficiently private area to allow confidential and acoustically insulated business communications. With children at home especially, one cannot ideally maintain the image of a work environment. A workroom for a business should be acoustically insulated at least. The accessory building market should show an increase.
It seems that our high tech conditioned indoor world is actually much to blame for any infectious spread of disease. Ah, to live back in agrarian times where a single house on the hill was charming and preferred in fact to city life... Going back a few centuries you will find most people lived in drafty houses with little insulation, zero mechanical heat and cooling, fireplaces only. And people seemed healthier? Were they? Those in the countryside apparently escaped the effects of the bubonic plague and probably many other diseases that festered in the large high dense cities. A few more thoughts on that here.