Data: Crane, et al., 2021, "Change in Reported Adherence to Nonpharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic"; Chart: Axios Visuals
Social distancing plummeted as the pandemic continued on in the U.S., new research published in JAMA shows.
Between the lines: Most people continued to avoid large crowds and interactions with high-risk people for more than six months.
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But staying home and remaining isolated from everyone other than household members was too much to ask for many Americans over such an extended period of time.
These cracks in social distancing practices were all the virus needed to continue spreading, eventually taking off like wildfire across every region of the country at once.
My thought bubble: If there's any obvious lesson to learn from all of this, it's that stopping a pandemic early on — before people become exhausted with the disruption to their lives — is crucial.
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