Google’s Community Mobility Reports

As many of you might have heard by now, Google has recently released a set of reports called Community Mobility Reports. “The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.” These “aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19.

I was taking a look at the most recent version of the reports (as of March 29) for a few countries. Here are some snapshots:



India announced its lock-down on March 24 and we can see an almost vertical decline in traffic to most public places, with a corresponding increase in Residential traffic.



Australia’s graphs reflect a very different trend. It shows a more gradual decline in traffic to public places compared to India’s.



Japan has not yet declared a lock-down and that reflects in their charts. Interestingly, transit stations have seen a 41% decline in traffic and the decline in the middle of February.

South Korea:

South Korea
South Korea

South Korea was one of the first countries outside of Chine to see a large number of Covid-19 cases. However, they did not announce a lock-down, but aimed to control the spread with extensive testing. And this reflects in their charts above.



Italy was one of the first countries to announce a nation-wide lock-down (on the 9th of March). The drop in traffic numbers post that are truly staggering. It’s interesting to see that Retail & Recreation and Transit Stations had started seeing a drop even before that date.



Spain announced its lock-down a few days after Italy and the effect was instantaneous.



Germany has not imposed a strict lock-down and their numbers reflect that. It is interesting to see the trends for Parks.



France announced a lock-down on March 17th and we can see a steep drop after that date, including to Parks.

Great Britain:

Great Britain

Great Britain only announced a lock-down on March 24th, and the traffic started declining immediately. Interestingly, Transit Stations and Workplaces had started seeing a decline even before that date.



Ireland only announced a lock-down on 28th March. Again, traffic to most public places had started declining well before that date, except for Parks.



The US, similar to Australia, displays a more gradual decline in traffic, starting from early March. It is to be noted that this data is only till the 29th March. It is possible that more recent data might demonstrate more declines.


Day 15 of Lock-down: My India Travel List Part 5

Andaman Islands
Photo by Deepak Kumar on Unsplash

Ok, so as per my calculations, yesterday was the 15th day of India’s Coronavirus triggered lock-down. The days seem to be rolling past and into one another. Anyway, here’s my fifth installment of my India Travel List.

Goa: India’s smallest state and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. There’s just something in the air of that state that makes it a truly wonderful and unique destination. I have made numerous visits to the state. But anytime is a good time to visit Goa. On my next visit, I would like to visit the beaches in the far north of the state, such as Querim and Ashvem.

Karnataka: The state that I am presently staying in must be one of the most under-rated states when it comes to tourism. Heritage, wildlife, scenic beauty, the state has it all. I was delighted at ticking Hampi off my bucket-list a few years back and it exceeded expectations. I am curious to visit the far north of the state with rich architectural heritage such as Bijapur and Bidar.

Telengana: India’s newest state. It’s capital, Hyderabad, is justifiably popular. I am keen to visit Warangal, which was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty from the 12th to the 14th Century.

Andhra Pradesh: Even though this state borders Karnataka and is not too far from where I live, the only place that I have visited in this vast state is the temple of Tirupati. Vishakhapatnam in the far north of the state has always been high up on my list of places to visit. Another, closer home is the so-called ‘Grand Canyon of India’ – Gandikota.

Tamil Nadu: An utterly fascinating state, the temples of this state are wonders of the World. Here again, I might break my rule of not considering places that I have been to previously to visit Rameswaram. Not too far from here is Chettinad that I would love to visit as well and see the famous mansions.

Kerala: The state where I am originally from. I have made innumerable visits to the state. Sure, there are still places that I have never been to previously. One of them is the region of Idukki, up in the Western Ghats.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: India’s first Union Territory, this group of islands is closer to South-East Asia than mainland India. It has a strong historical connection with India’s independence struggle, in addition to beautiful beaches. Havelock is possibly the highest ranking beach on my India bucket-list.

Puducherry: A small place with a fascinating mix of French and Indian (Tamil) cultures.

Lakshadweep: Truly stunning. We had visited this place on our honeymoon and it was jaw-droppingly beautiful. It was here that I first went snorkeling and was exposed to the beauty of the underwater world.

Day Who Knows of Lock-down: My India Travel List Part 4

Camel on the Rann of Kutch, India
Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

I have lost count of the days of lock-down. But I know that the next region for my India Travel wish list is West and Central India.

Rajasthan: The biggest state in the country and filled with magical tourist destinations. This is the place that I would love to take my wife and kids, who have never been there, to. In addition to the popular destinations, I would love to visit Pushkar and the havelis of Shekhawati.

Madhya Pradesh: Moving on to Central India and another state that has been bestowed with an abundance of beautiful places. On my next visit there, I plan to visit Khajuraho and Orchha.

Chattisgarh: To be honest, I am not very familiar with all the places in the region. But the tourism authorities of the state have been aggressively promoting the district of Bastar, so I might try and visit that region when I am in the area.

Gujarat: One of the states that I have stayed in and traveled around. One region that I haven’t visited yet, though, and I would love to, is Kutch.

Maharashtra: The state I was born in and spent a large part of my life. This is one place where I would willingly break my rule of not revisiting places I have been to previously. The reason for this is the stunning Ajanta and Ellora caves. These rank, in my humble opinion, high up on the list of the greatest human achievements ever, anywhere in the World. It is absolutely one of the places to visit in one’s lifetime.

Monday Reads – 06/04

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky
Photo by Nextvoyage on

The first Monday of the fourth month of the year. Who would have thought, at the beginning of the second, or even third, month that a large percentage of the world’s population would be staying at home under lock-down, with no clear date in sight as to when all this would end…

If you, like me, are pining for the outdoors, then here are a few articles that you might enjoy reading / watching:

25 surprising travel facts that’ll make you see the world in a whole new light – Some interesting nuggets of information here. How many did you know?

Lonely Planet’s Friday Quiz – Continuing with travel, trivia and Lonely Planet, here are some interesting quizzes for all your travel fans. How much did you score?

THE BEST TRAVEL DOCUMENTARIES TO STREAM RIGHT NOW – A great collection of travel documentaries. More to add to my list!

Attenborough’s Reef – Want to (virtually) explore underwater. It might not get better than Sir David Attenborough narrating his travels along the Great Barrier Reef.

Want to Leave This Planet? NASA Is Offering Some Seriously Cool Virtual Space Tours Right Now – Finally, had enough of this planet and dream of going somewhere far away? Well, you can do so virtually now!

Day 10 of Lock-down: My India Travel List Part 3

Golden Temple - Amritsar
Photo by Ravi N Jha on Unsplash

Continuing on my India wish-list, this post looks at North India.

Uttarakhand: I have fond memories of backpacking around Kumaon in the early 2000s. I had also made another visit to the state with an attempt to visit Kedarnath. Unfortunately, we had to abort the trip due to heavy rains and landslides. So yes, I would love to be able to visit Kedarnath, as well as the Valley of Flowers.

Himachal Pradesh: There are so many beautiful places to visit in this small mountainous state. Top of the list, for me, is Dharamshala / McLeodganj.

Union Territory of Ladakh: I consider myself extremely fortunate to have visited Ladakh over 10 years ago and seen places such as Pangong Tso before the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” made it famous. If I were to go back again, I would probably make the Nubra Valley my first destination.

Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir: Again, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have visited Srinagar and parts of Kashmir in the mid-80s before all the troubles erupted. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world. If I get the chance to go back again, I would probably visit Pahalgam.

Punjab: In my previous post, I had mentioned that Varanasi is very high up on my bucket-list of places to visit in India. If there is one place that will give it stiff competition, it will be the Golden Temple in Amritsar. And while I am there, I am going to treat myself to a lassi!

Haryana: With no disprespect to Haryana, tourist destinations are a bit hard to come by in this small North Indian state. If I do find myself in the region, I might visit the town of Kurukshetra.

Delhi: I recently made my first visit to the Indian capital in over 17 years. I would love to visit the place with my kids and show them the famous sights including India Gate and Red Fort.