Data Shows More People Ignoring Stay-at-Home Orders
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Location data from Foursquare shows the stay-at-home orders many state governments initiative in March are coming to an end.
Not because governments have lifted those orders – the bulk of which remain in place. Instead, data show people are getting out and getting back to business:
Fast food and gas station visits have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels in the Midwest, and in rural areas across the nation. Though still below ‘normal’, visits in suburban and urban areas have shown substantial growth (>15%) since their end of March lows. Even casual dining restaurants are starting to show recent upticks, likely driven by new delivery and curbside options.
Men — and generally people between the ages of 35-64 — have shown more moderate declines across different types of places, and are also showing greater propensity to return
Visits to trails and home improvement stores — both allowable destinations in most states — are up substantially versus our February benchmark (31% and 56% respectively). While some portion of this is certainly seasonality, the growth in the last two weeks has been particularly notable; home improvement store visits, for instance, are up nearly ~20% in the last two weeks versus just ~6% in the period prior.
The midwest and rural areas across the country have shown more moderate declines across different types of places, and are also showing a stronger inclination to get back to normal.
There’s a lesson in the data: governments can order people to stay home and people will comply.…for a while. But eventually, the urge to get out of the house, back to work, and yes, even painting the house, are stronger than any state decree.