Did the Lockdowns Work?

A man walks past deserted St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican after an Italian government decree ordered the whole county on lockdown in an unprecedented clampdown aimed at beating the coronavirus, March 10, 2020. (Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)
An early look at a whole lot of research.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W e are going to be arguing about the COVID-19 lockdowns for a long time. It’s the kind of topic that gives academics and pundits alike lots of variables to play with. They can reach whatever conclusion they want — and they’re bound to take advantage of the situation, because extraordinary claims require extraordinary . . . media coverage.

But as the lockdowns end, I wanted to offer a brief overview of the work that’s already been done, specifically on the question of whether lockdowns reduce the toll of the virus. Of course, this is just one piece of the puzzle, because

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