Empty airports and full delivery trucks: Covid’s toll on infrastructure, by the numbers

The total vehicle miles also fell, but not as much – only 13 percent. However, travel across the US’s northern and southern borders has largely ceased: 20 million passenger cars from Canada came to the US in 2019, compared with less than 2 million in the previous year – a 91 percent decrease. Vehicle traffic from Mexico fell by 37 percent.

The aviation industry is enjoying great success

Number of passengers

In 2019, airlines served over a billion passengers. In 2020 there were 398 million. According to the DOT, Domestic trips fell by 59 percent and international trips by 70 percent. American airlines lost over $ 35 billion in the pandemicaccording to analyst estimates. And experts say business travel, which was vital to airline bottom line, may never return to what it was before the pandemic.

Broadband demand is increasing both upstream and downstream


As Americans studied and worked full time from home, high-speed internet connection became more important than ever. In particular, the need for upstream capacity – the bandwidth needed to send documents or participate in video conferencing – was much higher as a result. NCTA, a trade association for internet providers, found there were in the week of February 13, 2021 a 57.9 percent increase in upstream traffic from before the pandemic – the highest increase recorded to date.

Package deliveries increased as retail went online

Volume of package deliveries by the US Postal Service

As grocery collection and purchase of toiletries became complicated by increased exposure to Covid-19, Americans turned to online shopping. The U.S. Postal Service reported that its competitive volume of product – mostly package deliveries – was 31.6 percent higher in 2020 compared to 2019. And in December the agency processed an all-time high of 812 million packages.

The demand for e-commerce also increased for other parcel service providers – such as Amazon, FedEx and UPS. The demand for online food orders became so great that Amazon no longer had to take on new customers for whole foods delivery during the pandemic. According to Frederick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO of FedEx, the company hired around 4,000 new drivers each week to keep up with the pace.

The cost of childcare has increased in every state and has sparked a national debate

Percentage increase in center-related childcare

Thousands of child carers closed their doors during the pandemic. At the end of last year One in four facilities remained closed. The collapse of the childcare industry had an impact on the labor market More than 10 percent of parents, mostly women, had to leave their jobs to take care of their children. Although some facilities reopened in the New Year, many operate with low profit margins and reduced, unstable enrollments.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, found that out In contrast to family childcare, the costs for center-related childcare rose by 44 percent. Georgia and Louisiana saw the highest increases, with increases of 115 percent and 111 percent, respectively. The GAP found that the increased costs were partly caused by the new health and safety protection for children and employees.

The higher demand for childcare, as well as higher costs, has sparked a national debate about whether childcare should be viewed as an infrastructure. Democrats describe it as a system that is vital to economic growth, since without it millions of workers cannot do their jobs, but Republicans have largely rejected the idea. President Joe Biden’s latest infrastructure package would pour more than $ 25 million into modernizing and expanding childcare facilities.

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