Over the course of just two weeks in mid-March 2020, most of the world went into a state of general lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This rapid shift in public-health policy implemented a suite of countermeasures referred to as nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including wide-scale “nonessential” business closures, event cancellations, school closures, numerical restrictions on gathering sizes, suspensions of international travel, and shelter-in-place orders—all intended to reduce or mitigate the transmission of the virus. Although initially presented as short-term emergency measures to “flatten the curve” of demand for hospital capacity, many of these responses quickly morphed into persistent policies for the duration of the pandemic.

Phillip W. Magness is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and David J. Theroux Chair in Political Economy
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Peter C. Earle is a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.
Bureaucracy and GovernmentCivil Liberties and Human RightsCOVID-19Economic PolicyEconomyGovernment and PoliticsHealth and HealthcareLaw and Liberty
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