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 Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.
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Peter C. Earle is a Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.
Bureaucracy and GovernmentCivil Liberties and Human RightsCOVID-19Economic PolicyEconomyGovernment and PoliticsHealth and HealthcareLaw and Liberty
Other Independent Review articles by Phillip W. Magness
Winter 2022/23 The Hyperpoliticization of Higher Ed: Trends in Faculty Political Ideology, 1969–Present
Spring 2022 “The Danger of Deplorable Reactions”: W. H. Hutt on Liberalism, Populism, and the Constitutional Political Economy of Racism
Summer 2020 One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
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