In Jack DeVine’s March 10 column, he referred to the “Worldometer” data on the effectiveness of mandated restrictions. Let me offer a little more perspective because of the amount of misinformation out there.
Worldometer has developed an index of states’ restrictiveness based on their non-pharmaceutical interventions. Masking and social distancing are not very restrictive; lockdowns are very restrictive, for example. There is no correlation between the degree of restrictions and deaths from COVID-19. None. However, there is a weak correlation (R**2=0.36) between the number of cases and the state’s degree of restrictions, most notably at the low end – masking and social distancing seem to reduce the likelihood you’ll get COVID-19.