by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump, governors, and leaders all around the world are facing increasing pressure to speed up the easing of pandemic restrictions amid growing signs that the public is beginning to tire of social distancing.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has increased to 973,000, and at least 55,110 people have died, but after weeks of sheltering in place and avoiding gatherings, more people are beginning to experience “quarantine fatigue.”
It appears that many more people across the country ventured out over the weekend. New cellphone tracking data shows the number of individuals leaving their homes is increasing, according to NBC News. University of Maryland researchers reported a 3% decline in the rate of people abiding by social distancing guidelines last week.
“What we see right now is that individual Americans — many of them are deciding on their own that they’re going to reopen themselves to go out more,” Lei Zhang, the UMD project leader, said. “It’s just a major shift as the nation fights the pandemic.” …
… By April 17, the average number of personal trips was about 2.5 per person per day, up from 2.4 per person the previous week, based on data collected by tracking smartphone use, the Washington Post reported. …
… The most recent polling, though, indicates that the vast majority of people view strict restrictions as worth it to limit the spread of the virus: 80% said shelter-in-place policies are justified, according to Kaiser Family Foundation polling from earlier in the month. More recent data suggests that the preponderance of workers would feel unsafe going back to work now.
Yet, even more recently, there have been increasing signs of frustration, especially from conservative politicians and commentators, following rallies in recent weeks against state lockdowns that featured conservative and pro-Trump imagery.
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