Nearly a year after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the nation’s first statewide shutdown because of the coronavirus, masks remain mandated, indoor dining and other activities are significantly limited, and Disneyland remains closed.
By contrast, Florida has no statewide restrictions. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has prohibited municipalities from fining people who refuse to wear masks. And Disney World has been open since July.
Despite their differing approaches, California and Florida have experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates.
How have two states that took such divergent tacks arrived at similar points?
“This is going to be an important question that we have to ask ourselves: What public health measures actually were the most impactful, and which ones had negligible effect or backfired by driving behavior underground?” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Though research has found that mask mandates and limits