A new Heritage Foundation special report analyzes the COVID-19 responses of 10 countries, with varying levels of economic freedom, to better understand which policies might have been more effective than others.
Here’s what the report found.
The 10 countries we studied have taken vastly different approaches to handling COVID-19 with varying degrees of success.
The evidence suggests that full lockdowns, such as those implemented in Italy and Norway, are not as effective as the more targeted approaches taken in other countries, such as in South Korea and Iceland.
In fact, as we discuss, those two countries have fared considerably better than the United States has in handling COVID-19 without shutting down their economies.
Another key finding is that Australia and New Zealand, two neighboring countries with similar climates, have had similar outcomes regarding COVID-19, even though they took very different approaches to dealing with the virus.
In particular, New Zealand virtually locked down the entire country in the spring, while Australia took a less restrictive approach.
Yet, both countries have contained the virus at similar levels.
Specifically, Australia had 13,595 COVID-19 cases (0.0534% of its population) and 139 deaths (0.000546% of its population), while New Zealand had 1,556 cases (0.0323% of its population) and 22 deaths (0.000457% of its population). However, New Zealand’s unemployment level is forecast to increase to 9.2% by December, while Australia’s is expected to increase to 7.6% over this same time period.
From a public health perspective, strict lockdowns can cause additional problems.
As 80% of COVID cases do not require hospitalization, when people isolate at home upon contracting COVID-19, they may infect their family members, including those who are at riskSource