by Joakim Book and Christian Bjørnskov
The American Institute for Economic Research
Much has been said about the terrifying models that in the spring projected such a staggering number of deaths from the novel coronavirus.
In hindsight, as bad as the pandemic has been, it never even approached the dismal numbers suggested ? the very numbers that rationalized society-wide lockdowns in Italy, the U.K., New York City, and then in many other places as the pandemic spread.
What researchers have struggled with since then is how to measure the impact of various actions taken. Do we even know if what we’re doing is working? Where’s the evidence for that, and are there other things we ought to do instead?
Naturally, proponents of lockdowns have long said that strong government action prevented all kinds of horrors. If anything, the poor outcomes we had in the spring and the fall indicated that we didn’t do enough.