19 November 2020

Evidence that lockdowns work

Mask-wearing makes a big difference. So does limiting indoor gatherings. In particular, closing indoor restaurants, bars and gyms has reduced the virus’s spread in many places.

Arizona is an excellent example. Its governor, Doug Ducey, a Republican, resisted taking aggressive action for weeks. But in late June, he closed bars, movie theaters and gyms and banned gatherings of 50 people or more. The rules began to lift in August.

Since Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened Florida in late September, the number of reported Covid-19 cases per week in the state has tripled.

On September 25, DeSantis signed an executive order reopening the state, freeing restaurants and bars to operate at 100% capacity. In the week leading up to the order, Florida reported more than 17,000 new cases.

In the past 7 days, the state has reported more than 53,000 -- meaning three times more Floridians have tested positive in the past week than in the week before the reopening.


  1. We are being governed by careless maniacs.
    Worse, these fools keep being re-elected.

  2. I'm in the Australian state of Victoria. We had a lockdown and a half! Our restrictions are being lifted very cautiously, and we are now celebrating 20 straight days of zero new cases and zero deaths. (Hoping that will be 21 days when today's figures come out in a couple of hours.)

    1. Vireya, I am in Sydney and you guys did so well you should be proud of yourselves. We are lucky to live where the government believes in science and has the health of the country not the economy on their minds. And our economy is good too!

  3. Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

  4. Sadly, all this is preaching to the choir. The people who understand science and are willing to believe science are already doing so. The people who don't and won't... well, they aren't going to change their minds. They've already chosen, which is the difference between ignorance and stupidity.

    1. I pretty much agree, and I don't plan to waste time arguing with anyone about these matters.

      Here's a relevant Dilbert -


    2. Thanks for the reply! And keep doing what you do; I've enjoyed your blog for a while now and I hope to keep doing so.

  5. Meanwhile, despite our governor trying to convince people to wear masks and stay home, I see people crowding into restaurants and bars.
    Even the nurse at the local clinic yesterday told my dad and I that she was not going to get the vaccine because it has, "too much mercury in it and I don't want anyone tracking me!"

  6. A message to Jon, who left a comment accusing me of insensitivity to the millions of people suffering economic deprivation and mental health issues (I deleted your comment too reflexly - should have approved it).

    Your link from the American Institute for Economic Research extensively details the woeful situation regarding mental health, unemployment, school disruptions, health care limitations, crime, and restaurant finances - then blithely entitles the piece "Cost of Lockdowns."

    None of the examples on the list make the distinction between someone who is suffering mentally or financially because of the public health restrictions versus suffering because of the rampant uncontrolled pandemic.

    You can include me among those suffering from anxiety and depression (though not suicidal), but not because I haven't had a haircut since February. It's because I can't join my social groups, shop in my favored stores etc because of the presence of the disease, which our inept federal government has totally failed to control. Whether our governor has the lockdown in place or not, I still would not venture out into that pestilential atmosphere any more than absolutely necessary.

    The problem with lockdowns is not their use, but their inadequate use. Those data on people waiting for breast cancer screening etc is not a lockdown problem - it's a leadership problem that begins (and persists in a White House where golfing takes priority over coronavirus conferences).


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