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.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.
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.