Forcing the public to wear masks, take vaccines and booster shots, and stay at home, did not make a noticeable difference to COVID-19 case rates, accoridng to the New York Times.
In a Wednesday morning newsletter, the Times said studies have revealed that parts of the country that enforced different measures during the pandemic showed little difference in case rates.
In fact, the newspaper noted that states with fewer restrictions have recently seen lower numbers of cases as people have returned to normal life.
The article compared COVID-19 case rates for Democratic and Republican areas that adopted different approaches to the pandemic.
It notes that Democrats were more likely to wear masks, get vaccinated and boosted, avoid public spaces, and shut down in-person schools over virus fears.
“These factors seem as if they should have caused large differences in case rates. They have not,” David Leonhardt wrote in the NYT newsletter.
“And that they haven’t offered some clarity about the relative effectiveness of different Covid interventions,” he added.
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In America’s most liberal cities, Restaurants are still seating customers at only 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, restaurants in cities in Republican states, like Miami, Austin, Nashville, and Charlotte have fully recovered, according to the NYT.
“Nationwide, the number of official Covid cases has recently been somewhat higher in heavily Democratic areas than Republican areas,” the NYT newsletter read.
“There is a strong argument for continuing to remove other restrictions, and returning to normal life.”
Unlike other precautions, vaccination rates were closely related to death rates, and areas that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election saw approximately double the COVID-19 death rate than areas that voted for President Joe Biden, according to the NYT.
“If a new variant emerges, and hospitals are again at risk of being overwhelmed, then reinstating Covid restrictions may make sense again, despite their modest effects,” the newsletter concluded.
“But that’s not where the country is today.”