Magazine May 4, 2020, Issue

Coronavirus Lockdowns: Going the Distance

A healthcare worker outside of Maimonides Medical Center during the coronavirus outbreak, Brooklyn, N.Y., April 13, 2020 (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
The restrictions were necessary, and they still are

It is reasonable to wonder whether we have been overreacting to the pandemic. The basic rationale for social distancing — reducing the rate at which people come into contact, to arrest the spread of the coronavirus contagion — is easy to explain. But the inconstant and sometimes dishonest advice from experts, and the fuzziness of the models that seem to be influencing government decisions, has eroded confidence in the wisdom of current policies. Following the recommendations of public-health authorities, Americans have made huge sacrifices for an indefinite period of time. While a majority agrees that the current measures are necessary,

This article appears as “Going the Distance” in the May 4, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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