Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Social Distancing

Lydia Saad at Gallup:
Americans this past weekend stepped up their already considerable efforts to engage in social distancing in response to the novel coronavirus. Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults now say they are avoiding public places like stores and restaurants, well ahead of the 54% reporting this last week. Nearly as many (68%) are forgoing small gatherings of friends and family, up from 46%.
These shifts are notable because they suggest that the unprecedented efforts by federal, state, local and private-sector leaders to get the public's attention -- a combination of formal closures of transportation, schools, and workplaces, as well as public appeals for voluntary efforts -- are working.
Even larger percentages of Americans are avoiding events with large crowds (92%) and are staying away from air travel or mass transit (87%). Most Americans were already avoiding these activities last week as businesses en masse began shuttering their doors, and widespread government and corporate travel bans took hold.

Geoffrey Fowler at WP:
If you have a smartphone, you’re probably contributing to a massive coronavirus surveillance system.
And it’s revealing where Americans have — and haven’t — been practicing social distancing.
On Tuesday, a company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county, which residents are changing behavior at the urging of health officials. It uses the reduction in the total distance we travel as a rough index for whether we’re staying put at home.

Comparing the nation’s mass movements from March 20 to an average Friday, Washington, D.C., gets an A, while Wyoming as a whole earns an F.
Of course, it is not completely fair to compare a big, densely-populated city to a very rural state where one must often drive many miles just to get gas or groceries.