REPORT: Mobile location data shows just how much travel has dropped in the age of coronavirus
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A new analysis from the data science company Descartes Labs helps provide a window onto how the global coronavirus pandemic is forcing dramatic changes to daily life and energy use. From an oil standpoint, the huge cutbacks in travel and economic activity have caused global oil demand to crater by millions of barrels per day.
Analysts used a tracking tool that collected data from mobile devices reporting throughout the day, calculating the maximum distance moved from the first reported location. The data for the U.S. shows how the steep drop in mobility didn’t begin until around March 14, “corresponding roughly with the start of widespread school closings and social distancing.”
It’s part of a wider analysis published this week of changes in travel, pollution, supply chains and more. In a separate part of the tracking initiative, they looked at changes in device counts at different airports for March 9–13, relative to Feb. 10–14.
“Airports on the West Coast, and California in particular, showed decreases of 50% or more. The decrease in device counts at most other airports ranged from 20% or 40%,” they note.
Rick Scott put out a 30-day plan to get the US back to normal. It includes shutting down domestic and international air travel, everyone stays at home, moratorium on financial obligations like rent, card payments, utilities pic.twitter.com/s0ISttg7m2
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) March 21, 2020
How about before any airlines are bailed out, we make a list of the things that would make air travel better for all of us, and if the airline CEOs would like our money, they take our terms or leave them?
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) March 21, 2020
*Coronavirus cases worldwide: 440,145
*Total confirmed deaths: 19,751
*Recovered patients: 111,942
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