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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Reproduced from Descartes Labs; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new analysis from the data science company Descartes Labs helps provide a window onto how the global coronavirus pandemic is forcing dramatic changes to daily life and energy use.

Why it matters: From an oil standpoint, the huge cutbacks in travel and economic activity have caused global oil demand to crater by millions of barrels per day.

What they did: Analysts used a tracking tool that collected data from mobile devices reporting throughout the day, calculating the maximum distance moved from the first reported location.

  • Check out the chart above, which reflects a mobility metric for each country based on the median distance across all devices in their sample.

What they found: The data for the U.S. shows how the steep drop in mobility didn't begin until around March 14, "corresponding roughly with the start of widespread school closings and social distancing."

The big picture: It's part of a wider analysis published this week of changes in travel, pollution, supply chains and more.

  • In a separate part of the tracking initiative, they looked at changes in device counts at different airports for March 9–13, relative to Feb. 10–14.
  • "Airports on the West Coast, and California in particular, showed decreases of 50% or more. The decrease in device counts at most other airports ranged from 20% or 40%," they note.

Go deeper: 10 ways coronavirus is changing climate change and energy

Go deeper

Rep. Dan Crenshaw says he'll be blind for a month after eye surgery

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) in Washington, D.C., in December 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said in a statement Saturday he will be blind for roughly a month after getting surgery to reattach the retina in left eye.

Why it matters: Crenshaw, who lost his right eye and sustained severe damage to his left eye during his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, said he will be "pretty much off the grid for the next few weeks."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter is a test for the future of space exploration

Ingenuity (left) with Perseverance on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA is set to fly the first test flight of its tiny Ingenuity helicopter on Mars Sunday, marking the advent of drones for space exploration.

Why it matters: If successful, this flight will be the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The global future is looking dark and stormy

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A new 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent.

The big picture: A major report put out this week by the National Intelligence Council reflects a present rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. How the next two decades will unfold depends largely on whether new technologies will ultimately unite us — or continue to divide us.