Data show that compulsory lockdowns have had a high cost, with a questionable impact on transmission.
In 1932, Justice Louis Brandeis of the Supreme Court famously referred to the states as "democracy laboratories." Different states can test different policies and can learn from each other. In 2020, that proved valid. Governors in various states react to the COVID-19 pandemic at different times and in different ways. Sweeping shutdowns were ordered by some states, such as California. A more targeted approach was taken by others, such as Florida. Others, such as South Dakota, transmitted data but had no lockdowns at all.