There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting our lives in a big way. We are locked in a continuous news cycle that seems to be offering few good vibes in favor of a myriad of bad ones. Event cancellations, geographies on quarantine lockdown, and self-imposed (and not-so-self-imposed) isolation are a result of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
But, these things aside, the world's population seems to be taking this virus seriously - and that's exactly what needs to be done to curb the spread of this contagion. This interesting visualization from The Economist shows the reduction in foot traffic at metro stations in various cities across the globe.
Rome, the capital of the heavily-hit country of Italy, has seen the biggest reduction in foot traffic as government imposed quarantine takes hold (you can travel for work, but little else). Interestingly, this is the only city that sees a reduction in foot traffic over a period of time with the exception, possibly, of Madrid.
Another interesting point about this data is that a reduction in foot traffic is not proportional to the number of reported infections in that particular city. Madrid and New York have more reported infections than other cities in the dataset, yet their reduction in foot traffic is less. New York is clearly business as usual. However, note Madrid's rapid reduction on Wednesday.
The obvious head-scratcher is Sydney - their metro foot traffic is actually up 27% over the average. This suggests Australia has yet to feel the impact of the pandemic as much as other countries.