Coloradans are nearly moving around at pre-pandemic levels. Will a second coronavirus wave follow?

In Larimer County, as June barrels into July and Colorado nears the end of its fourth month mired in the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado State University professor Jude Bayham has noticed a trend: There are a lot more people visiting restaurants than there were in April and May.

This observation comes not so much from his personal life as from his professional one. Bayham is an economist who studies “avoidance behavior” — how people respond to known risks. During the pandemic, he has become one of the experts looking at mobility data for the state’s epidemiological modeling team, the group that is creating predictions about how the virus will spread so that policymakers like Gov. Jared Polis can decide how to respond. Bayham charts these mobility numbers on graphs comparing them to mobility patterns from 2019.

And what he has seen in the last couple of weeks is clear. Coloradans across much of the state are almost back to moving around at pre-pandemic levels. At restaurants, salons and clothing stores, Coloradans in many counties are approaching near-normal levels of activity.

“There is clearly an increase in these mobility measures, however you want to cut it,” Bayham said. “People are spending more time out in public.”

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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