Black Lives Matter protests did not cause an uptick in covid-19 cases

Stay-at-home tendencies actually increased

7/1/2020 11:39:00 AM

The amount of time Americans spent at home actually increased, on average, in weeks that saw protests spread across the country

Stay-at-home tendencies actually increased

DEMONSTRATING CAN be a dangerous activity, even in the best of circumstances. During a pandemic, it can be lethal. When mass protests against police brutality broke out in America earlier this month, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of policemen in Minneapolis, public-health experts worried they would lead to a surge in infections. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House’s coronavirus task-force, called the protests “the perfect set-up” for the spread of the virus. Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, warned that the gatherings could become “super-spreader events”.

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This was more than scaremongering. SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes covid-19, is spread through droplets of moisture produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes. Large, crowded gatherings can contribute to the spread of the virus, especially when those involved are shouting and chanting slogans—projecting droplets farther into the air. Police tactics such as spraying tear-gas, herding protesters into contained areas and rounding up troublemakers into police vans and jail cells also increase the risk of infection.

But the available evidence suggests that this month’s Black Lives Matter protests have not contributed to a surge in covid-19 cases. In anew working paper, researchers from Bentley University, the University of Colorado and San Diego State University used mobile-phone data from SafeGraph, a geolocation data firm, and covid-19 case data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether the protests were associated with less social-distancing behaviour and more covid-19 cases. In fact, the opposite was true.

Using data from 315 American cities with at least 100,000 people, covering the period mid-May to mid-June, the researchers compared the experience of the 281 cities where protests erupted with the 34 where they did not. One third of protesting cities saw large-scale gatherings with 1,000 or more attendees, making those particular regions more susceptible to another outbreak. Nonetheless, they found that the protests had no significant effect one way or the other on the incidence of covid-19.

They also found one possible—and surprising—reason for this. Protests were actually associated with an increase in social-distancing behaviour; for example, residents overall spent an additional 0.18 hours, or 11 minutes, per day at home (see chart). In other words, any time that residents spent protesting in the streets was more than offset by time other people spent baking bread and watching Netflix.

These results could be driven by a number of factors. Those choosing not to protest might have avoided going outside because of worry for their personal safety amid increased crime and violence. That some businesses were temporarily closed because of looting made going out even less appealing. Some residents may have stayed home because of a higher perceived risk of catching the coronavirus. Finally, increased road closures and blockages may have also discouraged citizens from leaving their homes.

Read more: The Economist »

More than a little surprised that The Economist would publish a story about such conter-intuitive findings before the research paper in question has been peer reviewed. CAP! They sure do assume a lot. ✌🐸 Right who would come out on the street when vandals go about damaging public property. Yes it did people were frightened by the mobs so stayed inside which is why covid didnt spread among the majority. but the mob attendees are showing up sick.

Most likely it prevented a downtick , according to my figures From Unnamed sources What has happened to the Economist ? . You support an ultra capitalist Darwinian system, the rich are the wealthiest segment of society that has ever existed in human history, and the gap between rich and poor grows by the day. Yet you pretend to care about social justice

Probably Americans also flushed more toilets at home while protests spread across the country. So, what has one to do with the other? And if protests did not cause an uptick, what did? This is really a disingenuous dataset presentation. 🤣 Protecting the BAME's again? The type of BS logic acceptable only to FakeNews


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