Stanford U student cyclists wear masks but not helmets!

Via Tyler Cowen,

In April of this year, I witnessed something on the Stanford campus that will be seared into my memory forever: a student on a bicycle, wearing flip-flops, AirPods in ear, going the wrong way through a roundabout in an active construction zone, with no helmet. But like any good follower of science, the student was wearing a disposable blue face mask -- for safety, I guess.

I think this anecdote is instructive in understanding the social dynamics that have emerged in the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly intelligent and well-rounded people (Stanford students, for example) have adopted bizarre, pointless habits to comport with new expectations about how to "stay safe" -- like wearing masks outdoors -- all while continuing in much more risky behaviors.


So, I decided to attempt a measurement to quantify this phenomenon. On Wednesday, September 22nd, in the 1:00 pm hour, I observed 400 Stanford cyclists on Lasuen Mall, a popular campus street for bicycles. I simply noted whether each cyclist wore a mask, a helmet, neither, or both. Here are the final tallies:

Total cyclists: 400 - (100%)

No mask, no helmet: 195 - (49%)

Mask, no helmet: 134 - (34%)

Helmet, no mask: 42 - (10%)

Mask and helmet: 29 - (7%)

That works out to a masking rate of 41% and helmet-wearing rate of 17%. 
By Stephen

About me

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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