Does that mean the protests actually reduced transmission of the virus?
I mean, given how public-health experts have contorted themselves over the past month to carve out exceptions to social-distancing rules for a political cause they support, you’d be forgiven for assuming that transmissions might be down because the virus itself is woke.
But no, the reason the protests may have led to net fewer transmissions is simpler, according to the authors of a new study. Namely, Americans are scared of violence. Since the protests began they’ve seen police precincts burn, shop windows smashed, and mayhem various and sundry committed. That risk of rioting gave them an extra incentive to hunker down at home at night when protests sprang up in their own backyard on top of the preexisting incentive not to socialize for fear of being infected.