We Shut Down for Way More Than 15 Days — and Still Didn’t ‘Slow the Spread’

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx (left) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci attend a coronavirus response meeting at the White House, April 29, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
The hard lessons of this pandemic were discernible very early on.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O n Monday, March 16, 2020, the White House advised all Americans to avoid gathering in groups of more than ten and urged older people to stay at home in a set of new guidelines designed to fight the coronavirus outbreak, labeling the effort “15 Days to Slow the Spread.”

That set of restrictions later was summarized as “two weeks to flatten the curve,” a slogan that grew more bitterly ironic as the pandemic and its quarantine restrictions dragged on and on — now for more than a year. That call for a voluntary avoidance of large groups quickly morphed into far-reaching

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