Christmas Mobility

Google mobility (and other) data becomes extremely volatile around Christmas and public holidays. So let’s compare the 2020 and 2021 periods for December and January. These are reasonably comparable as the shift in dates between years creates a similar time frame with two consecutive long weekends. It shifts the Christmas weekend by a day and similarly shifts the new year weekend. This may create some differences on individual days as the mobility data is based on day of the week during the reference period so I have used a 7 day average which will lag as the volatility flows through.

2021 is red. 2020 is blue. Cairns Regional Council is the area represented but I couldn’t make it rhyme.

Covid Christmas 1

Parks can depend on weather and it does here. Christmas Day 2020 saw 80mm rain in Cairns. Serious 2021 rain didn’t arrive until the 29th which is the last day represented in this data. 

Covid Christmas 2Covid Christmas 3

Both these categories start from much higher levels than 2020. I have no idea how Google distinguish between these in their data but Grocery & Pharmacy is tracking consistently higher. The Retail & Recreation gap has closed through December.

Covid Christmas 4

Workplaces also starts higher but is closing the gap through the shut down period.

Covid Christmas 5

Residential is based on time rather than activity. The next week or two could be something to watch.

Covid Christmas 6

Transit Stations will probably be the most interesting. Described as Public Transport in the PDF report versions it will represent different things in different regions but in Cairns appears to reflect visitor and airport activity recovering from very subdued levels.



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