COVID-19: More People Venturing Out -- Everywhere!

Better weather, boredom and mixed messaging are likely to blame.

by Eric Holdeman / May 13, 2020

I do think that nicer weather, boredom, and mixed messages on what is safe to do is allowing people to rationalize their venturing forth for more activities outside the home. It doesn't seem to matter what state you are in and how they are communicating on what is safe to do. 

Time will tell — if their decisions were correct or not. See the short article below from the NY Times:

 

Americans seem to be running out of patience with fighting the coronavirus by staying home.

About 25 million more people ventured outside their homes on an average day last week than during the preceding six weeks, according to a New York Times analysis of cellphone location data provided by Cuebiq.

 

The trend was visible nearly everywhere: in the states that have begun to lift stay-at-home orders; in the states that haven’t; and in states that never imposed them to begin with.

 

 

About 119 million people, or 36 percent of U.S. residents, stayed within about 300 feet of home on an average day last week, according to the analysis. When social distancing was at its peak in late March and April, the average was 144 million, or 43.8 percent. In normal times it’s around 20 percent.

The scale of the trend varied a bit from state to state — as you might expect, somewhat more people are venturing out where restrictions have been eased. But it was most pronounced in Michigan, a state that has not lifted its stay-at-home order. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Michigan is also where we’ve seen some of the angriest protests against the orders.

 

The cellphone data suggest that once again, the public is getting ahead of government officials. Many people started to isolate themselves days or weeks before orders were issued — and now, many are emerging without waiting for an all-clear.

 

It’s too soon to tell whether the increased movement is causing new waves of coronavirus infection. But public health officials are worried. Social distancing is one of the most effective means of curbing the virus’s spread — and none of the states that have dropped stay-at-home orders has satisfied the federal guidelines for doing so safely.

 

Platforms & Programs