Good News Network
Despite the novel coronavirus outbreaks delivering countless blows to global economies, two different teams of researchers have published studies praising international and local governments for preventing additional infections and millions of deaths. This week, scientists from Imperial College London and University of California–Berkeley both published studies on the impact of emergency health measures across 17 different countries. Although the teams used different methods of calculation for their research, they both came to similar conclusions: millions of lives have been saved thanks to large-scale interventions during the pandemic. According to the Imperial study, European lockdowns helped to prevent more than 3.1 million deaths. The Berkeley study—which examined infection rates and lockdown measures in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, and the US—found that local and national interventions prevented more than 530 million cases. Both of these studies were published in Nature. Furthermore, continuation of these policies beyond the study period have likely avoided many millions more infections, says Solomon Hsiang, director of Berkeley’s Global Policy Laboratory and lead author of the Berkeley study. “The last several months have been extraordinarily difficult, but through our individual sacrifices, people everywhere have each contributed to one of humanity’s greatest collective achievements,” Hsiang said. “I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time. There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference. By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history.”