Data: Apple; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

One thing that will affect post-pandemic oil demand and carbon emissions is how quickly — and how much — driving ultimately bounces back compared to other modes of moving around.

Driving the news: Rough proxy data via Apple provides early signs that driving is starting to come back in a number of U.S. cities, while light rail and bus use basically isn't (yet).

  • The chart above shows a few cities I looked at using this interactive online tool from Apple that shows the results of changes in the number of requests for directions to Apple Maps.

Why it matters: Shelter-in-place restrictions worldwide have radically cut down on travel during the pandemic, but it's not yet clear if post-crisis travel patterns and decisions will ever be completely the same.

Where it stands: A much clearer picture will emerge in the months and years ahead. But already there are other signs that car travel is beginning to come back.

  • Data provided to Axios by the Google-owned navigation app Waze is another proxy for driving levels in the same cities charted above.
  • The reductions on April 22 were less severe in all the cities than peak declines from a February baseline. (Peak declines occurred from late March through mid-April, depending on the city.)

The intrigue: There's all kinds of variable and uncertainties. We're in the early stages. But the future could mean...

  • Some people avoiding mass transit, at least for a time, which adds to vehicle use and traffic.
  • Yet working from home and other behaviors that put downward pressure on car travel could remain post-crisis.
  • Some cityscapes in Europe and elsewhere are becoming more walking- and bike-friendly during the crisis, and I'm watching to see if those changes could stick around too.

Go deeper: The post-pandemic landscape may favor cars

Go deeper

Aug 5, 2020 - Health

Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Virginia's health department released a coronavirus contact tracing app on Wednesday that relies on a Bluetooth-based system designed by Apple and Google.

Why it matters: Adoption of COVID-19 tracing tech in the U.S. has been limited compared to other countries — and tracking who has possibly been exposed to the virus (and promptly notifying them) is crucial to stem the spread.

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.