Luiz Brotherhood, Philipp Kircher, Cezar Santos, Michèle Tertilt, 12 June 2020

Governments worldwide locked down their economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This column considers two lockdown policies – a stay-at-home order and a test-and-quarantine approach – and their projected effects on deaths and GDP. Adjustments in individual behaviour, especially by the elderly, can save many lives, while lockdown policies targeted at the young prolongs the time need to reach herd immunity and could lead to more deaths in the long run. Testing and quarantining is an effective policy but requires about 10 million tests each week for the US alone.

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