Empty streets and closed business signs are sights Americans won’t soon forget.
A new study suggests if we hadn’t done all we did – staying at home, closing schools, restricting travel, staying socially distanced — from the beginning of the pandemic through early April — there would be about 60 million more coronavirus infections nationwide.
The research published in the scientific journal Nature used a modeling technique typically used for estimating economic growth. It measured the effect of shutdown policies in six countries.
The study period ended on April 6, but keeping shutdown orders in place after that time has likely led to even more coronavirus infections being avoided, according to the study’s lead author.
The study included data on daily infection rates, changes in coronavirus case definitions and timing of large scale shutdown policies.
But it had some limitations – including that available data on infections and measures across the countries studied were limited and researchers could only suggest estimations about what could have happened.