Category: Lifestyle

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 7 of Lock-down and Some Interesting Lists

Atlas, camera
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

As many places of the world get resigned to the fact that it might still be a while before things get back to anything resembling ‘normal’ again, we are seeing more and more lists of interesting things to read, watch and listen pop up. Here are a few that I came across recently:

18 Best Travel Shows You Can Stream Right Now – An exhaustive compilation on CN Traveller. This should keep us occupied for a few weeks!

Best travel films and TV shows to stream right now – Continuing with the theme of travel, this is from Lonely Planet. It’s nicely categorised, so you can choose where you want to start and dive in!

The best Lonely Planet Spotify playlists for travellers pining for the road – Working from home and pining for your next travel getaway? These playlists might just transport you for some time to some of the most popular cities in the World.

The top cricketing reads for a long and yawning summer – This is typically the time that the cricket season starts in England, but it’s unlikely that one is getting to watch cricket (or any sport) anytime soon. In the meantime, cricket lovers can keep themselves occupied with some interesting reads from the world of cricket.

Day 6 of Lock-down

grocery cart with item
Photo by Oleg Magni on

Yet another day went by, busy with work.

I did step out for a bit of grocery shopping in the morning. Roads were pleasantly empty, as was to be expected. The grocery store (part of a national chain) had rules in place for entry (not more than 5 people inside at a time, no entry without masks). The security at the entrance was doing a reasonably good job of enforcing these regulations. Shoppers were patiently queuing outside while trying to maintain a reasonable distance from each other.

Inside, things looked pretty normal. The supply of fruits, vegetables and essential groceries did not look disrupted. There were some items that could be classified as non-essential that were out of stock. But I was able to find almost all of what I required and was in and out reasonably quickly.

I was a very late adopter of Netflix, only starting my subscription earlier this year. But I have been enjoying watching a few of the documentaries on there lately. I am presently watching a docu-series called ‘The Chef’s Table‘. It is fascinating to see and hear more about the philosophies of famous chefs, their journeys and experiences that led them ti where they are today and, of course, to view some of their beautiful masterpieces.

Give it a watch, if you have not already done so!

Monday Reads – 30/03

adult books business coffee
Photo by Burst on

So India announced a 21-day lock-down last Tuesday. Covid-19 is still pretty much the only topic that is being discussed these days. A few articles that try to explain why we are reacting the way we are, and what the future might look like.

Coronavirus is spreading panic. Here’s the science behind why.  – Why do people hoard toilet paper is a question that’s been puzzling me ever since we started reading news of people hoarding and fighting toilet paper rolls. This article explains why.

Economic life after coronavirus: Lessons from the Black Death – This article looks at The Plague that devastated Europe in the second half of the 14th Century and how markets reacted afterwards to ask the question of what the impact on economic life might be after we come out of this crisis.

Today we’re fighting COVID-19. Where will our world be in 2070? – How will humans be interacting with Nature 50 years from now? This is the topic that National Geographic explores in this article, looking at both an optimistic scenario and a more pessimistic one. We have big decisions to make if

Is It Time to Break up with Travel? – There’s no doubt that one of the biggest impacts has been felt by the Travel Industry. And surprisingly, I am yet to find much analysis on what the impact of this could be on the Travel and Hospitality sectors. This is one rare exception.

Day 5 of Lock-down

man cooking breakfast holding fork
Photo by cottonbro on

Day 5 – Sunday. It did feel like any other Sunday. But as my wife remarked the other day, it felt nice to spend the day knowing that there are absolutely no plans of going anywhere!

I did a bit of yoga in the morning, prepared a breakfast of banana pancakes for the kids and did a round of house cleaning. I had my kids to help me with the cleaning – I did the sweeping and they did the mopping. They seemed to enjoy it, but let’s see how long the enthusiasm will last!

We ordered home delivery of food from a popular local restaurant. I had to go down to the main entrance of our apartment complex to pick up the delivery – the only time I stepped out over the weekend.

Evenings were spent connecting with family and friends over Zoom. We played a game of cards over Zoom. My kids and I played the role of facilitator with 6 other family members playing the game virtually. It was great fun!

Finally, spent over an hour catching up with old school friends, most of whom are settled in the United States of America. I was ‘seeing’ one of my friends after a period of over 25 years! Again, it felt very nice to catch up. It was worth reflecting, though, that it took a pandemic for us to reconnect…