With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over, people are being more cautious when they step out of their homes. After months of being holed up at homes, it hardly comes as a surprise that most would want to go out of their abodes with hopes of reverting to a normal life. Though businesses are reopening to help aid in that, it remains not all are sure that it is safe to be outdoors. People may be out but the question there is, where are they going and how long are they out?
If the revealed phone data that reportedly tracks where people are going is to be used, fewer people in the United States are going out to visit local businesses and chain stores. A reason behind this is the surging number of COVID-19 cases in some states. To be specific, Arizona, California and Florida have experienced a spike in cases. That in mind, people have now become more cautious, wary of possibly contracting the strain.
Based on the figures, the number of people headed to retail and food establishments saw an upward tick when local businesses started to open back in April and May. The volume of traffic is believed to be because people who were restricted to their homes finally had the chance to go outdoors. However, the number of people based on the data from Safegraph has declined come mid-June. Safeguard married anonymized cell phone data with its database of business listings and points of interest.
The business reopening has been debated with some feeling that the move was made a bit early. The number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing, although most are tying it to the increase of mass testing made in areas. However, there are now some officials claiming that the surge in coronavirus cases is for real and not linked to the mass testing efforts.
“If we end up coming out too soon and that results in substantial spread of the virus, that will be counterproductive in re-opening of economy. The more we box the virus in, the more space there is for us in society,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
For now, seeing the world get back to normal will take time. A COVID-19 vaccine is a solution seen and nothing has come close to that. Efforts are being done to fast-track it and some vaccines are being marketed. Unfortunately, they lack backing, with some even coming with risks if used.