When it comes to social distancing Pettis Coutny gets a "D" according to unacast's Social Distancing Scoreboard.

Unacast created a social distancing scoreboard that compares average distance traveled from pre-COVID-19 days to average distance traveled NOW, and assigns each state and county in the United States a grade based on how much that distance has decreased.

Counties and states that get an "A" have decreased average distance traveled over 40%, "B" 30-40% decrease, "C" 20-30% decrease, "D" 10-20% decrease, "F" 10% decrease or even an increase in travel.


Pettis County scores a "D" only decreasing average distance traveled by 14%. The biggest days where Pettis County residents curtailed distance traveled was on Saturday March 14 and Saturday March 21. Saline County gets an "F" and Benton County also gets a "D".

Johnson County scores a solid "C"with an average distance traveled decrease of 24%. I suspect some of that better score may be driven by Jackson County and Kansas City's stay at home order which may have Johnson County residents who work near or in Kansas City working from home.

The scores can fluctuate as the scoreboard gets more data. For example, they added two days of data while writing this piece, so Pettis County's score went from "F" to a "D" while I was writing it. You can check out the unacast.com Social Distancing Scoreboard and find and  play with the latest data here.

That said, calling this a "Social Distancing Scoreboard" might be a bit of a misnomer. As it really doesn't measure how well any of us are actually staying 6 feet away from each other. It's really measuring how much we've reduced our driving around or are actually staying home.

The Creighton's would get an "F" if someone measured how much we travel. I'm still going into work from my home in Warrensburg to Sedalia. I'm still picking up dinner out as much as we always have.

However, no one's accounting for the fact that restaurant dining rooms are closed, so while I'm out getting dinner, perhaps the people I have to interact with (and myself), are coming into contact with less people than they normally would.

Plus, no one's accounting for the fact that with the radio station closed to visitors and guests, our sales and administrative team working from home,  I am interacting with less people than I did prior to COVID-19 happening.

It also doesn't account for those staying home, but not necessarily practicing social distancing. Like the three guys I saw working on a car yesterday afternoon. Or the college age kids enjoying a back yard barbecue. Or the reports of groups of people gathering in parking lots and socializing Saturday night during the impromptu old school cruise that took place on LImit Avenue in Sedalia.

So yeah, perhaps Pettis County's "D" or Johnson County's "C" doesn't tell the whole story. It might be a little better, or it could be a little worse. One thing will be interesting to watch though, whether or not our habits are swayed as this virus starts to impact our communities this week and in coming weeks more than it has so far.

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