Resuming life after the Covid-19 crash
As infections were first reported worldwide, the first step preferred by most countries to control Covid-19 was a lockdown. On March 25, India entered what was one of the strictest blockades in the world. This first set of curbs remained in place until April 14 and was extended four times through the end of May, each time with gradual relaxations. This was followed by seven phases of gradual unlocking until December 31.
Google publishes Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports for 131 countries to show how the lockdown affected the movement of people. The report uses “aggregated and anonymized data to plot movement trends over time by geography” in a variety of places such as grocery stores, parks, workplaces, and transit locations and compares them to a “benchmark activity.” “established according to the previous closing. A look at what it showed for India.
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Movement in offices and workplaces fell to its lowest level in the recorded time period, touching -72% on March 25, the day the national shutdown began. He averaged in the late 1960s until the end of the second phase of the lockdown, since he began to show a gradual recovery. By the last week of December, a large number of offices had switched to a work-from-home model, which meant that activity at workplaces remained around 15% below the baseline.
There was a 30% increase from baseline in mobility around residential areas on the first day of the national shutdown. This stayed about the same for the next five weeks. However, through May, movement around residential areas began to slow each week, eventually settling at around 10% above pre-year-end levels.
FOOD AND PHARMACY
This is the field that has reported the largest resumption of activity among all mapped sectors. From a 77% drop in movement at retail stores and recreational venues on March 25, it fell further to 80% through April and most of May. As of October, activities have exceeded that reported in pre-pandemic levels, a factor that encourages the economic recovery of the country.
When the closure was announced, movement in transit hubs, such as trains and subway stations, was down 73% from baseline, one of the biggest drops on record. Since then, it has reported a gradual recovery, but in the last week of the year it is still around 8% below the baseline.
SALE AND RECREATION
Movement in retail stores and recreational venues fell 78% on March 25, the first day of the shutdown. This remained low for the next several weeks, dropping as low as -87% on April 18. However, until May, activity began to recover slightly at the end of the fourth lockdown. But even as of late December, activity in shopping and recreation centers remains around 30% below pre-pandemic levels.
This is another of the centers of activity in the Google report that has shown a relatively small recovery. On May 25, data shows that 54% fewer people signed up in and around parks nationwide. This fell to -68% at the end of March. And although it has since recovered, movement in the parks remained 15% below the baseline at the end of December.