Do Governments’ Decisions on Social Distancing Flatten Out People’s Mobility During COVID-19 Pandemic?

11 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2020 Last revised: 15 Aug 2021

Date Written: April 12, 2020

Abstract

Amid coronavirus (nCOVID-19) pandemic, the trending pieces of advice for ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay-at-home' have become two of the most pushed recommendations from the WHO and governments across countries. This paper presents some exploratory graphs and analyses to show the relationships among the governments' initiatives during coronavirus pandemic and people’s responses to keep them staying at home. Overall, governments’ decisions on social distancing, movement restrictions and lockdowns have negative associations with people’s mobility to retail and recreation centers, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, and workplaces. The same decisions have a positive association with people’s stay-at-home. However, social distancing decision alone does not sufficiently work to keep people staying at home. When a government decides on social distancing together with movement restriction orders or lockdowns, it works. For the analyses, this paper utilizes two sources of data: Google’s data (2020) on community mobility and ACAPS (Assessment Capacities Projects) data on governments’ measures (2020) to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Social distancing, Stay at home, Governments

JEL Classification: I10, I18, J81

Suggested Citation

Hussain, A H M Belayeth, Do Governments’ Decisions on Social Distancing Flatten Out People’s Mobility During COVID-19 Pandemic? (April 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3574979

A H M Belayeth Hussain (Contact Author)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) ( email )

School of Social Sciences
Building C02
Penang, 11800
Malaysia

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