Reader GSW put it brilliantly:
Seems clear that the lock-down is not the only variable to be considered. Public policy may not even be the most important variable here as the disease is a virus that absolutely does not fear the coercive power of the state.
I’ve been thinking something similar but I couldn’t verbalize it so succinctly and beautifully.
We’ve now seen a large variety of responses from different national and local governments. And they don’t seem to make a big difference. Early lockdown, late lockdown, no lockdown – these do not seem to be the defining factors.
It looks like other things have a much greater impact. Things that it’s not within the power of a government to materialize on the spot. Population-wide obesity rates seem to matter an enormous lot. Fitness rates. Diabetes rates. Vitamin D levels. Living arrangements. Access to nature. Forms of transportation (and not only right now but of the life-long kind).
The importance of vitamin D only started to be discussed widely in connection to COVID about a week ago. Who knows what other factors will come up.
For many people it’s downright impossible to accept that all of the little choices we make individually and collectively throughout our lives coalesce into a certain result that might be quite unpleasant but not instantaneously reversible even with the best intentions in the world. This is why many prefer to have a specific evildoer to blame.