Do Lockdowns Work? Apparently NOT, See the Data California vs Florida

Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, no two states have been more different in their approaches than California and Florida.

In early March, California Gov Gavin Newsom limited gatherings, closed bars, and indoor dining at restaurants implemented mask mandates and implored residents to stay at home.

Comparatively, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has enacted few measures, lifting an ordinance that prevented people from operating businesses and restaurants as well as lifting COVID-19 related fines and penalties in September.

  • California Gov Gavin Newsom took a very strict approach during the coronavirus pandemic and closed bars and indoor dining issued mask mandates and limited gathering
  • By comparison, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has issued very few closures and said he has trusted Floridian to ‘use common sense’ to control the spread of the virus
  • Historically, when adjusting for population, Florida has had 8,306 cases and 117 deaths per 100,000 residents and California has had about 8,499 cases per 100,000 residents and 130 deaths per 100,000
  • Currently, each state is recording between 200 and 400 cases per million people and between 10 and 20 deaths per million, showing a very similar curve over the last two months
  • Hospitalization rates are also very similar with California reporting 24 hospitalizations per 100,000 while Florida has recorded about 22 per 100,000

Over the course of the pandemic, California (left) has had a rate of about 8,499 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents while Florida has had about 8,306 (right) per 100,000. Currently, both are seeing rapid declines with fewer than 10,000 cases being reported every day. The dashed line represents the national seven-day average and the solid line represents California’s and Florida’s seven-day averages.

Both California (left) and Florida (right) have been recording anywhere between 10 and 20 deaths per million people over the last two months. Historically, Florida has recorded about 130 cases per 100.000 people and in comparison with 117 deaths per 100,000 in California. The dashed line represents the national seven-day average and the solid line represents California’s and Florida’s seven-day averages.

So were lockdowns necessary and did they work? The answer is a complicated one but looking at the data it would be hard to say absolutely yes.

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Posted by Tom Williams

Born down on the farm in America's Midwest, my early life was spent climbing the ladder via a long career in information technology. Starting as a technician, and after earning a degree going to night school, I eventually found a place working at ATT Bell Laboratories as a software engineer.

Later moving into management and then a long stint in a major management consulting firm working with major banking, telecommunications, and retail companies. Working in various states in America, I also spent considerable time living and working in several European countries - currently expat in France. As a side career, I was heavily involved in real estate development and an avid futures trader. This experience can give one a unique view of the world.

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