An AI system exposed the shameful number of Brits who ignored advice to stay home, socially distance, and only travel if essential amid the coronavirus outbreak.
British PM Boris Johnson said he wanted to avoid the draconian measures in place in other countries if possible. However, if coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb – as people fail to follow advice – then he’d be left with no option.
Images of Brits continuing to hit the pub and other large gatherings, putting the lives of themselves and others at risk, were rightly condemned and led to a national lockdown in the UK this week.
Research conducted by Vivacity Labs, a startup focused on traffic surveillance systems, sought to determine whether more people were staying at home last week compared to the week commencing February 3rd.
Vivacity Labs observed just a 30 percent drop in pedestrians. Car and motorcycle traffic dropped even less, at just a pitiful 15 percent. The number of cyclists declined a mere 13 percent.
The company’s findings were based on its network of 200 sensors installed across 10 UK cities.
So, did people at least space themselves further apart? The company’s findings in Oxford suggest nowhere near enough.
Using a network of 78 sensors owned by Oxford Council, Vivacity Labs noted a drop in pedestrians of 48 percent. This is better than the relatively small drop in traffic, but the firm only noted 28 percent fewer interactions between pedestrians over two meters apart.
With a police-enforced lockdown now in place and many venues closed, it seems fellow Brits are finally getting the message to stay home wherever possible.
Hopefully, enough people will now listen to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus spread to save lives and start lifting restrictions. If not, the UK could end up seeing much stricter measures seen in other countries like requiring written permission to leave their households and military personnel on the streets for enforcement.
(Photo by Rohan G on Unsplash)
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