Social distancing and shutdowns have been astonishingly effective at blunting the pandemic

In the United States, the public health measures averted 60 million infections in total, researchers found.

Two new peer-reviewed studies in the journal Nature found that lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, closed schools, and canceled events prevented millions of Covid-19 cases and deaths.

One of the studies estimated the number of Covid-19 cases with and without these public health measures. In the US, the measures stopped 4.8 million more confirmed cases of Covid-19 and up to 60 million infections in total. In a second study, researchers looked at the number of deaths from Covid-19 in 11 countries in Europe. They found that 3.1 million deaths in these countries were prevented.