New research quantifies how pandemic fatigue has set in since early April

Caitlin Owens
·1 min read

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.

Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.

  • 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.

Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.