Apple data shows shelter-in-place is ending, regardless of government directives

Regardless of government COVID-19 coronavirus directives, Apple data shows shelter-in-place is ending and re-opening is underway.

John KoetsierS for Forbes:

Apple’s Mobility Trends report shows that traffic in the US and other countries like Germany has pretty much doubled in the past three weeks. It had been down up to 72%. And location data provider Foursquare says that gas and fast food visits are back to pre-COVID-19 levels in the American Midwest.

Mobility Trends (Change in routing requests since January 13, 2020)

Apple data shows shelter-in-place is ending, regardless of government directives. Image: Mobility Trends (Change in routing requests since January 13, 2020)
Source: Apple Inc.

Whether governments, medical professionals, and scientists want it to or not, people seem tired of the shutdown and eager to get back to some semblance of normal life.

While the Apple data is measured by people searching Apple Maps for directions, the Foursquare data is captured by people actually visiting locations. 13 million Americans have granted the company permission to capture their data and use it in privacy-safe ways.

Interestingly, as Apple’s data from Canada shows, while driving and walking are edging back up to normal levels, people are avoiding transit, which is still down 79% from pre-Coronavirus levels. Driving by yourself is safe, apparently, but sitting in a bus or on a train with hundreds of others is not.


For some categories, the last week has produced the most substantial changes since foot traffic bottomed out around the end of March. Most notably:

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 wireless carrier stores like AT&T and Verizon have increased very slightly since mid-April, down only 33% nationally as of April (versus 34-39% in the weeks prior).

MacDailyNews Take: Clearly, shelter-in-place cannot last forever. The CDC’s “Get and Keep America Open” resources on COVID-19 infection prevention and control, laboratory capacity, community mitigation, surveillance and data analytics, contact tracing, and staffing are here.


  1. Given this return to pre-virus behavior in the face of widespread COVID-19 propagation, it’s likely that the second wave of infections and death will be signficantly more pronounced that the first. Remember that the first time around, the virus wasn’t present in a lot of communities yet. The social distancing helped keep it at bay. So we haven’t really seen what kind of havoc this outbreak is capable of wreaking if left unchecked. Hold onto your face masks; this could get gnarly fast.

    1. Total lockdown is not required to control the spread of coronavirus, provided that people continue practice social distancing behaviors: wear masks, keep 6 feet apart, avoid physical contact, avoid lingering in closed spaces, disinfect surfaces frequently, and wash hands frequently.

      1. True, although I would add “isolating if you have any symptoms or know you have been exposed.” The difficulty is that those who oppose compulsory distancing mostly dismiss the value of voluntary distancing, too. They are like guys who scoff at the drunk driving laws as unnecessary for socially responsible drivers (which is true), but then think it is OK to drive when just a little buzzed.

    2. Bullshit.

      We Wrecked Our Economy for Nothing

      Imagine, if you will, an edict from your Mayor, Governor, the President, or all three. This edict targets you and 30 million other citizens simply because you are a member of a specific economic class or category of worker. Your vocation has been determined to be “non-essential.” The directive is clear. You will forgo your wages for an indeterminate period of time. You have no choice. If you fail to comply, you face fines and/or imprisonment. The stated objectives of all of this, are to preclude the medical system from being overwhelmed and to increase the lifespan of one million people, many of whom would perish within 6 months anyhow from already existing conditions.

      This is exactly what has happened. The federal government has encouraged mayors and governors to enact certain “social distancing” guidelines and forbade workers in “non essential’ occupations from earning a paycheck. This has, over the past few months, caused over 30 million people to become newly unemployed and unable to feed their families. This number will continue to rise. It is not much of a reach to believe we could hit 20% unemployment…numbers we haven’t gotten to since the Great Depression.

      There is little-to-no actual science behind this draconian decision. The experts told us that by sacrificing the jobs of 30 million people (and still counting) we would “flatten the curve” on new infections and thus keep our hospital system from being overwhelmed. The “experts” and their models have been proven wrong time and again throughout this debacle.

      The expected tidal wave never struck the hospital system as a whole. Point of fact, because of deferred procedures put off in order to free up bed space for the expected surge, many hospitals have laid of staff and some have shut their doors…permanently. The United States is now exporting ventilators.

      As more and more information comes in, we are seeing that this virus is not nearly as infectious as previously thought, and it is far less deadly. When it comes right down to it, this disease is going to end up with a Mortality Rate at or below our annual flu average. For that, we brought direct harm, pain, and suffering to 30 million other Americans.

      The Chicken Little folks supporting Dr. Fauci and COL/Dr. Birx are claiming that we saved a million U.S lives by shutting down our economy. Fine. Let’s do some math. For the sake of argument, let’s agree here that without closing up our economy, the number of U.S. Fatalities would have reached 1.1 Million. Let’s also assume that by invoking Dr. Fauci’s draconian measures, we were able to cut that number down to 100,000 (I chose 1.1M and 100K in order to make the math simpler).

      Bottom line? For each life allegedly saved, we as a nation, the states & localities severally, DEMANDED under threat of fines and/or imprisonment, that 30 other (non-essential) American workers forgo their paychecks. We (corporate we) told select classes of people that we were going to essentially deny them the ability to make a living…and without any sort of due process whatsoever.

      Basically, the governors and mayors with the encouragement of the federal government denied the civil rights of broad swaths of the American citizenry. They abridged the right to earn a living on the unproven chance that it might save a stranger’s life. What’s worse, it wasn’t like we demanded that all of America make this sacrifice. No. We actually forced the weakest (financially) among us to carry this load. Interestingly, I find anecdotally that the folks most interested in keeping this shutdown in place until we are “perfectly safe,” aren’t the hourly wage, service industry workers who have been forced to shoulder almost this entire burden. Nope. It’s the “essential workers,” people whose occupation allows telecommuting, the media, and, of course, folks on government salaries.

      Mind you, none of the above was done via legislative action, which might have made it somewhat more palatable. It was all done via executive orders, big and small. As new data comes in, we are seeing that all of this had little-to-no effect on the spread of the virus nor the number of fatalities. We trampled on the Constitution, destroyed our economy, and wrecked the lives of millions of Americans…for nothing. And we aren’t done yet. — Mike Ford

      1. COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in the United States even with preventative measures.

        What is an acceptable number for you? 3000 per day? 4000 per day?

        And by the way, tell that to the health care workers who are on the brink of collapse.

        I love how conservatives believe in “law and order”, until that law and order inconveniences them.

        The greatest generation survived the Great Depression and WWII. These conservative snowflakes can’t withstand 6 weeks watching Netflix at home.

          1. That’s the point – a virus isn’t political. It doesn’t care what your beliefs are.

            This is a human issue and we need to come together as a species to defeat it.

        1. “I love how conservatives believe in “law and order”, until that law and order inconveniences them.”

          I love how liberals do NOT believe in “law and order”, until they issue the orders. California, anyone?

          There, I fixed it for you…

      2. Averaging, to date, 10000 deaths per week. I call bullshit on you.

        And if you’re going to have the wisdom of the Almighty and proclaim a number on those who will “die anyway”, then surely you must credit back those that won’t die violently due to criminal activity. I call bullshit on you.

        “We (corporate we) told select classes of people that we were going to essentially deny them the ability to make a living…and without any sort of due process whatsoever.“

        Parallels the health care system you undoubtedly support. I call bullshit on you.

        Your liberty ends where another’s begins. You being out and about, for now, is spreading death. I agree its not indefinitely sustainable.

      3. Oh shut your fucking trap, you’re one of those idiots who probably demands a refund on travellers Insurance after the fact because you didn’t use it and therefore didn’t need it. I’ll also bet you went to public school.
        Your lies are pathetic. Here’s an idea. Since you obviously also believe the earth is flat (like your brainwaves)… take a walk and just drop off the planet. Just go the fuck away. Or do you need directions on how to go to hell?

    3. Morons didn’t learn this in the 1918 pandemic and the second wave kicked their ass. Today’s morons, already having a problem with history they are doomed to repeat with Trump, will have to learn the same pandemic history lesson. Again. Stupid is as stupid does. But this does have it’s Darwinian advantages.

      1. Social Darwinism does not apply. The most blatant violators of reasonable social distancing are more likely to kill somebody else than themselves. They will go on their merry way as happy as clams because they fundamentally do not care who suffers from their actions, as long as it isn’t them. That will leave them free to breed and raise children as antisocial as themselves.

        1. “The most blatant violators of reasonable social distancing are more likely to kill somebody else than themselves.”

          Not every violator of six feet is going to kill someone, utterly ridiculous. First, you have to have the disease and pass it along. Second, thousands get the disease, display no symptoms, develop immunity in weeks like nothing ever happened. Third, the latest number I read is over 85% that contract C-19 SURVIVE. So doom and gloom “sky is falling” liberals please continue with your know it all second wave hysteria. You don’t know for certain and no one knows what the future holds…

          1. You do know that 15% of 330 million would be 50 million dead Americans, right? Fortunately, the actual case fatality rate is more like 1%, but that would still be 3.3 million if we dropped all social distancing and got 100% penetration. I assume that you are volunteering yourself and your family to die so that the President can get the country open by Election Day.

            Obviously, I know that we must make trade-offs between the dangers from the disease and the dangers from the shutdown. People are going to die in any case. How many die is still important, though. I care. You and your hero obviously don’t.

            1. The only thing you care about is denigrating President Trump DAILY!

              You and your selective use of facts are 🐂💩! The overwhelming majority survive and over 80% of deaths in several states are in nursing homes, an inconvenient TRUTH.

              For you to allege myself and the president do not care about saving lives is the BIG LIE YOU POS!…😡

  2. No worries, the USA and the UK will be at the top of the Coronavirus list (by Monday), medical quality masks no (something made from a t-shirt doesn’t count), rubber gloves no, testing no (a actual long range plan to test everyone not the few), what could go wrong?, good luck you are on your own 🙂 Lysol anyone?

    The great rationalization on the part of Human race is starting to take place, just took 8 weeks. Note seeing the map light up across the globe I was ready on the first day.

    The Coronavirus now a part of the human disease pantheon something your get in your life time. Not going to go out of my way to get it however.

  3. Prepare for thousands, no, millions more deaths.

    “Taken together, the three major developments of the past few days paint a bleak picture of the months that lie ahead: COVID-19 is too deadly to let it rip through the population. An effective cure is not in sight. And the federal government is incapable of formulating a coherent pandemic response.
    After weeks in which it made sense to hope that something would happen to end this nightmare, the prospects for deliverance are more remote than ever.”

  4. All those authoritarian socialists who love themselves government control are predicting “the end”. Of course, you won’t hear about them caring about the people who live paycheck to paycheck, who this government lockdown is sending into poverty. Who cares about them!? The suicides that are already rising, who cares? Not the affluent dems! They are just fine waging a covert class warfare, or perhaps they are so stuck on themselves that they are simply incapable of seeing life from any viewpoint other than their own.

    1. Gee, you are very confused no one in the upper 20% cares about you on both sides of the aisle, what more do you need to see? Those poor mislead Trump-lets spinning around….

  5. I think people are making a judgement call as to whether they would prefer to go broke, lose their homes, cars, etc., or risk dying from COVID. Remember that the risk now looks to be about .3% of infected people are dying. And, if you are under 50, it’s much lower than that. So some form of “reopening”, with social distancing, masks, lots of washing, etc., makes sense to a lot of people.

  6. A “second wave” by the way, would be MUCH more likely if we hid under a blanket for the next six months, preventing herd immunity, not to mention giving the virus more time to mutate into a more dangerous strain. It’s basic math. The fact is, this virus is predicted to stick around for 2 years..and considering how contagious it is, and how it hides in people, pretty sure we won’t be able to hide under a blanket for two years.

    1. Herd immunity does not occur until somewhere between 60% and 80% of the population have antibodies. In the hardest-hit region of Italy, it is about 20%. So, the best case is that the US can achieve herd immunity when 200% more people have been infected, which means 145,000 additional deaths. That best case is wildly optimistic.

  7. One American died every 44 seconds in April with lockdowns and social distancing in place. Without it the numbers would be unthinkable. Even so, a smart staged reopening where testing and contact tracing plays a major role is possible. The state of Washington has a good plan that opens the economy and saves lives. It can be done.

  8. This is very good news, most people aren’t idiots waiting for Gates and his PR agent Little Tony to “save” them with a syringe. They see this was a fake mass media “crisis”, no more deaths than an average flu year and probably way less without all or the fake numbers that count every toe stub as a “Covid death”.

    1. The leading cause of death in America is hardly a media fake. The average flu year kills significantly fewer people over twelve months than this did just during April. With social distancing being brought to an end by greedy heartless folks who have no normal human empathy for the victims, there could be even more in June.

      1. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease. By far.

        Most recent CDC leading causes of death in the U.S. (2017):

        Heart disease: 647,457
        Cancer: 599,108
        Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
        Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
        Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
        Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
        Diabetes: 83,564
        Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
        Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
        Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

        COVID deaths in the U.S. (counting every possible death as COVID to inflate the numbers) is currently 69,680.

        1. Not in the last few weeks it hasn’t. Not even by a little.

          647,457 per year is 1769 per day.

          There is a further issue. The method being used for counting Covid-19 deaths possibly underestimates Covid-19 deaths because it is an actual count of confirmed deaths. The CDC figures for most other diseases are estimates, not actual counts. If flu deaths were reported using the same criteria as for coronavirus, there would only

        2. Those are yearly numbers. But you knew that.
          Averaging 10K deaths per week, it would be 520,000 deaths. If any significant fraction is preventable by distancing and isolation, you lose your argument.

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