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If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition

Summary:
If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition In case you haven’t already seen it, here is the OpenTable restaurant reservation data from 3 Confederate States that “reopened” their economy at the end of April: Even though restaurants were open again, reservations were still down over 80% from a year ago. This highlights an important behavioral aspect of the pandemic: people did not wait for their State governments to order lockdowns in order to stop face-to-face economic activity. In all States – those that locked down early, late, or not at all – people dramatically slowed down non-“socially distant” participation. This also explains what we see in the Florida data (which has other issues: e.g., snowbirds who have died in Florida

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If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition

In case you haven’t already seen it, here is the OpenTable restaurant reservation data from 3 Confederate States that “reopened” their economy at the end of April:

If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition

Even though restaurants were open again, reservations were still down over 80% from a year ago.

This highlights an important behavioral aspect of the pandemic: people did not wait for their State governments to order lockdowns in order to stop face-to-face economic activity. In all States – those that locked down early, late, or not at all – people dramatically slowed down non-“socially distant” participation.

If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition

This also explains what we see in the Florida data (which has other issues: e.g., snowbirds who have died in Florida haven’t been counted in its data):

If you open it, they still won’t come: restaurant edition

Cases of coronavirus peaked in early April (no later than the 8th), the same week that Florida finally and belatedly went to a Statewide lockdown – I.e., too early for the lockdown to have made the difference.

The evidence is that in general seniors in Florida continue to be seriously concerned about their vulnerability to the virus, and are staying home, regardless of what their governor’s actions.

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