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by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
Home-based gatherings and small-group socializing are at the root of the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases, say state leaders. Hence a new round of restrictions on when people can leave their homes, how many non-household members they can have over or meet up with, and other measures meant to once again slow the spread. Bars, restaurants, retail shops, and other places of business are also being targeted under new orders—but, these days, it’s mostly private socializing which authorities are blaming. It’s now become conventional wisdom in government, pundit spheres, and among at least some of the public that curtailing any and all socializing is a sound solution.
Hold up, says The New York Times (not exactly known to be a bastion of government-critical thinking about coronavirus containment). Where’s the evidence for all of this?
Small gatherings can of course lead to people infecting one another—just like the virus doesn’t get more deadly after dark, it doesn’t care how many people you’re with or how close you are with them. A small group here and a small group there and the virus can easily keep finding new hosts.