New Cellphone Data Suggests US Lockdown Protests May Have Spread Coronavirus Widely

  • Hundreds of Americans Who Joined the Protest Movements Did Not Cover Face With Masks

  • Pictures and Videos of Such Events Clearly Showed Protesters Roaming Without Covering Face

  • Recent Cellphone Data Sheds Light Into How the Anti-Lockdown Protests May Have Spread the Virus in Several States

It is not new that while several Americans are concerned about the future and health safety, there are many citizens who want the economy to be opened as the shutdowns are affecting their lives. Since the anti-lockdown protest movement has become common events in the U.S. recently, newly released cell phone data showed how new Coronavirus cases could emerge easily.

As per the data, it was revealed that some of these protesters who have been connected with COVID-19 cases are traveling hundreds of miles to the event location, returning to their residence, and even crossing the neighborhoods.

As reported by The Guardian, this data was provided by the progressive campaign group the Committee to Protect Medicare. It suggested that the anti-lockdown protests would play a role in spreading the Coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infection cases.

The data may help you understand the seriousness

An individual using a phone
Cellphone data shed light into how virus may have spread in US Flickr

As per the report the location data was collected from opt-in cell phone apps. VoteMap data scientists used the data to determine the movements of devices present at protests which took place in late April and early May in five states which are Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, and Florida.

The data scientists then created visualizations that tracked the movements of all those devices up to 48 hours after the end of the protest event. It should be noted that the experts managed to note down the movements within states. However, as per data scientist Jeremy Fair, executive-vice president of VoteMap, many devices that are noticed to reach state borders are also seen to continue across them in the underlying raw data.

In one case, the visualization showed that after the April 30 protest in Michigan devices which had been present at the protest site, were seen to be returning to all parts of the state, from Detroit to remote towns in the state's north. Collected data revealed that one device traveled to and from Afton, while others reached and some of them crossed the Indiana border.

It was also revealed that after the April 19 protest in Denver, devices reached the borders of other states including Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah.

You can't avoid the facts about Coronavirus

Following the initial wave of anti-lockdown protests in April, Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and public health scientist at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health mentioned in a tweet that "2,500 anti-lockdown rallies in Olympia, Washington. I predict a new epidemic surge (incubation time ~5-7 days before onset symptoms, if any, and transmission to associates around that time, even among asymptomatic)... so increase in 2-4 weeks from now."

Here another fact should be mentioned that face masks cannot protect a person from the virus but it can help to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 from an already infected person which can keep the infection rate down. But if we notice the pictures and videos from all of these recent protest movements, it can be seen that a very few numbers of people who joined the protest movements are wearing any mask, making them and others in a vulnerable situation.

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