National Coronavirus Lockdowns: The Interplay of Tightening and Easing
20 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 17, 2020
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the dynamics and politics of national coronavirus lockdowns. And as the title indicates, the main focus is on the interplay of tightening and easing of restrictions, a pattern clearly visible in a number of countries. In March and April 2020, most European states began with massive lockdown tightening and the closing of borders. When infections gradually subsided in May and June, European governments opted for lockdown easing and the reopening of national borders. Intensive national and international mobility and socializing returned – but so did infections. When in the late summer a second wave began, the need for retightening became evident. By the end of November many European countries, but not all, opted once again for rather massive tightening. Lockdown dynamics had gone full circle. The dynamics were similar, although not identical, in Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, or New Zealand – but not in the United States. As the White House refused to formulate a national strategy governing lockdown tightening and easing, it was mainly up to the fifty States to handle the epidemic. In most states, but not in all, the results were rather disappointing.
Keywords: Coronavirus, lockdowns, pandemic, tightening, easing, cycle
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