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Ferdinando Giugliano

Lockdowns Make Perfect Sense Now

A working vaccine would make the arguments of the herd-immunity crowd irrelevant.

Actually, restrictions are a good thing.

Actually, restrictions are a good thing.

Photographer: Omer Messinger/Getty Images Europe

The development of what looks like an effective vaccine against Covid-19 has ignited hopes that the worst of the pandemic will be over relatively soon. If successful, it will also vindicate a strategy that has proven controversial: slowing down the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through Draconian restrictions on people’s activity.

The basic idea behind “lockdowns” was to flatten the curve of contagion so that it wouldn’t overwhelm hospitals. This strategy had one major flaw: It didn’t bring about a definitive end to the outbreak. The pandemic abated in the summer, thanks to the restrictions governments introduced in the spring. After politicians relaxed the rules, however, the virus regathered its strength. The same pattern appears to be emerging in the U.S., as New York City and other places battle with a rising second wave.