Skip to main content

COVID questions: Dog parks, work from home, future of cities

July 2, 2020

Editor’s note: We will be publishing answers to questions about COVID-19 and the pandemic each week in this COVID questions column. If you have a question, please email it to

Q: Is it safe to take my dog to the dog park?

A: As regards COVID-19, I believe it is safe to take your dog to a dog park.  The number of COVID-19 cases in dogs is very small and virtually all infections have been acquired through contact with an infected person, not another dog.  You should, however, do your best to maintain physical distancing from other people at the park for both your dog’s safety and your own.  To protect your dog against other infections and risks, be sure your dog is up-to-date on routine vaccinations and flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives; limit contact with standing water in parks; and, know how your dog interacts with other dogs and people and thereby manage interactions safely for all involved.

– Christopher W. Olsen, DVM PhD, Director, Graduate/Professional and Capstone Certificates in Global Health, Office of Global Health, Department of Academic Affairs, School of Medicine and Public Health

After the pandemic ends, will more office workers be working from home?

The pandemic is accelerating some previous trends. Office work will likely shift to have more people working from home. Most people believe that there’s going to be a blended mix of working in the office, perhaps with less density. Working at the bench with everyone shoulder to shoulder — it was losing some attractiveness before COVID.

Similarly, traditional retail — and especially shopping malls — will likely suffer further loss.

I guess I won’t say that all malls will be gone, but we’re over-retailed. We have too much retail in the United States compared to anywhere in the world. There are too many malls and they’re not set up to serve consumer demand.

–  Jill Hatton, a graduate of UW–Madison’s famed real estate program, spent 35 years in the real estate investment industry (Source: The UW Now livestream)

Urban areas have been hit hard by the pandemic — what will be the long-term effect?

Cities will come back strong after the pandemic. Nearly three-quarters of Americans live in urban areas, and opportunities and earnings are greater in cities. These things will be true even after people internalize the impact of the pandemic and the virus’s rapid spread in population-dense areas.

I remain rather bullish on cities, although their success does presume that we will have a vaccine and some degree of social spacing as we go along.

–  Mark Eppli, a professor of real estate in the Wisconsin School of Business. (Source: The UW Now livestream)

For answers to more COVID questions, go to