If you carry around a smart phone, chances are high that it’s tracking more about you than you realize. Most of the time that fact creeps us out, and rightly so. Our attitude towards these practices is probably shaped by the fact that historically this data has been used to sell things to us and enhance corporate profit.
But data is an exceptionally powerful tool and when applied to current challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, we start to get a picture of other, more beneficial ways it can be used.
To that end, Google recently released reports on how we’re all (states and counties) doing with government recommendations regarding social distancing, staying home, etc. They take anonymized data that our phones send back to them and compile it to create detailed reports. It’s pretty cool.
But most important is how we translate this information into real-world action. Governor Burgum has repeatedly said he doesn’t want more restrictions placed on us. He wants to rely on personal responsibility. But the effectiveness of that approach depends on you and me. It depends on how well we do what our health officials are begging us to do — take actions that slow the spread of the virus.
So, our grade is below. When you see how we’re doing as a state and county, ask yourself this: are you helping move our scores in the right direction?
The State data is on the first pages, Ward County’s report is on page 13.2020-03-29_US_North_Dakota_Mobility_Report_en-1