Lives vs. Livelihoods Revisited: Should Poorer Countries with Younger Populations Have Equally Strict Lockdowns

Lives vs. Livelihoods Revisited: Should Poorer Countries with Younger Populations Have Equally Strict Lockdowns

Governments around the world have taken drastic measures to control the spread of coronavirus. Public debate has understandably focused on the differences across countries; however, there has been surprising uniformity in the severity of lockdowns and other containment measures between rich and poor countries, as data from Oxford University’s “Stringency Index” shows (Figure 1). This fairly homogenous lockdown strategy has spanned much of South Asia and Latin America, which have been ravaged by the pandemic, and many countries in Africa, which appear to have contained it quite effectively.

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