Google Maps Can Help You Navigate the Pandemic

When we’re going through our regular days, we usually don’t have to use Google Maps very often. We know our usual routes. But, when visiting relatives or heading to new spots, it can be useful. When there are sudden and poorly marked detours, it can be a huge help. Now, you might feel like it’s a fantastic planning tool.

This week, Google announced they are adding a COVID-19 option. It allows you to make your travel plans based on COVID-19 data. The program uses data from the last seven days so you’ll be able to see if cases are trending up or down in different states, counties and cities. It can help you plan where to go and where to stay if you are traveling. Google Maps also shows you how busy public transit is, if there are any travel-related COVID-19 alerts and if masks are required on transport. The rules seem to change so frequently, and Google Maps can keep you up to date. And it has other information, where gatherings might be happening and if the kids are in school or on vacation.

You click the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “COVID-19 info” and you’ll get the color-coded map. The colors let you easily read where the dangers are. The information comes from the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins, hospitals, health agencies, the New York Times and Wikipedia.

Google said the tool shows “critical information about Covid-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.”

Many of us aren’t planning much travel soon. But if you have to go, it’s good to have the information. The data about public transportation and alerts are useful. It’s also nice to have such an easy and familiar tool that allows you to look up where your friends and family live.

As it shows counties, you don’t have to be traveling far for the tool to be useful. It might change your plans for a Saturday afternoon trip. Your county may be doing very well, but the next county over could be struggling. You may think twice about a picnic in a park forty minutes from home and decide your own yard or somewhere a little closer is better. It all depends on your comfort levels. The tool puts the power in your hands to make informed choices for yourself.

Banner Image: Google
September 24, 2020

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