Google’s report shows where people move around most and gives clues to public health professionals about social distancing
Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Report said staying at home for the Turks went 17% higher in the days of coronavirus. The report’s target is to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.
Shocking US data
Retail & recreation went 75% down for the Turks, according to the report. Here are the other categories with a downward trend: grocery & pharmacy (-39%), parks (-58%), transit stations (-71%) and workplaces (-45%). Google’s data depict the picture also for the top 8 countries that are exposed to coronavirus, excluding China of course. The below chart shows the US data with shocking numbers. For example, the Americans retail & recreation habits went down 47%. But Italy, as Europe’s epicenter for COVID-19, has a 94% downward trend for retail & recreation. Here are the rest of the US figures for community mobility: grocery & pharmacy (-22%), parks (-19%), transit stations (-51%), workplaces (-38%) and residentials (12%). To speak of Italy, here’s what we see: grocery & pharmacy (-85%), parks (-90%), transit stations (-87%), workplaces (-63%) and residentials (24%).
Methodology and aim: to understand social distancing
Google collected those data between Feb 16 and Mar 29 with the aim of to help people and public health officials to understand responses to social distancing related to coronavirus. Google explains the brief methodology for the report as follows: “What data is included in the calculation depends on user settings, connectivity, and whether it meets our privacy threshold. If the privacy threshold isn’t met (when somewhere isn’t busy enough to ensure anonymity) we don’t show a change for the day… We calculate these insights based on data from users who have opted-in to Location History for their Google Account, so the data represents a sample of our users. As with all samples, this may or may not represent the exact behavior of a wider population…”
You can see your country report here with anonymized data approach. By the way Google warns that these reports will remain available for a limited time.
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