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‘Quarantine fatigue’ setting in; stir crazy Americans begin to venture out

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 26 (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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It’s been six weeks since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and with the country still shut down, it’s clear that Americans are beginning to go stir crazy.

Much of the U.S. has been hit with stay-at-home orders for weeks now in an effort to mitigate the Wuhan virus COVID-19, and “quarantine fatigue” has set in, according to the Daily Mail.

Citing Apple’s new mobility tool, Mobility Trends Reports, the Daily Mail noted that fed-up Americans are beginning to defy authorities and venture out more.

Mobility Trends Reports tracks COVID‑19 mobility trends since January 13, and the data shows an uptick in movement in the U.S. in regard to walking and driving.

Not surprisingly, public transportation trends have remained flat.

Even in New York City, which became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as the Daily Mail reported that “people have all but stopped using the subway.”

“Since lockdown orders came into play in March, ridership on public transit, which includes subways and buses, has decreased 86 percent,” the British tabloid reported.

According to Apple, the data is generated by counting requests made to Apple Maps for directions.

Apple assures users that it “doesn’t have a profile of your movements and searches.”

“Privacy is a fundamental human right,” the company’s website states. “At Apple, it’s also one of our core values, so Maps doesn’t associate your data with your Apple ID, and Apple doesn’t keep a history of where you’ve been.”

Researchers tracking smartphone data discovered a nationwide shift during the week of April 13, according to the Stamford Advocate.

The newspaper reported “for the first time since states began implementing stay-at-home orders in mid-March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Americans are staying home less.”

Lei Zhang, lead researcher and director of the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland, said it appears Americans are getting “tired” of sitting at home.

“We saw something we hoped wasn’t happening, but it’s there,” he told the Advocate. “It seems collectively we’re getting a little tired. It looks like people are loosening up on their own to travel more.”

And with some states to start allowing businesses, beaches and other public facilities to reopen, Zhang anticipates the number of people staying home will continue to drop.

Georgia was one of the first states to start re-opening its economy, and some beaches in Florida are starting to reopen.

In Southern California, thousands of people crowded beaches over the weekend, even though a statewide stay-at-home order implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom remains in effect.

Beaches in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties were closed, but beaches in Ventura and Orange Counties were reportedly open.

With heat advisories issued on Friday, and temperatures reaching 93 degrees in Los Angeles on Saturday, beachgoer Frank Feerini told KABC people have grown tired of being cooped up.

“I think that people want to get out,” Feerini said. “I think they’ve been cooped up, I think they’re going stir crazy.”

Conservative actor James Woods is less than convinced that crowded beaches are the answer, though.

Tom Tillison

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