Are restaurant shutdowns effective at slowing the spread of the coronavirus? Experts debate before Baltimore judge.

“I don’t see any evidence that this has been an effective policy,” said Jayanta Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine and economist with Stanford University, who pointed to the rise in coronavirus cases in Baltimore in recent weeks. He argued that lockdowns, while causing significant psychological and economic damage, are an ineffective means of stopping transmission, in part because people will continue to gather in private homes. “The kinds of gatherings that happen in restaurants, you don’t eliminate them … you just displace where they happen.” More effective measures, he said, would include symptom checks and widespread vaccinations.

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