First, let me be clear I am not about to tell you that lock downs are pointless and we should all go back to normal. This site is dedicated to facts and data, and this study is just that, whatever the results may be.
With that said, I encourage everyone to read the linked summary in full, as the study was thorough and well done. The purpose of the study was to establish if there is any scientific basis for a complete lock down vs more simple social distancing protocols. This is important, as to date the decisions that have been made have been based on models and projections that have been wildly inaccurate (there is no other way to put it), and not based on any actual empirical data. I understand why they took a "better safe than sorry" approach initially, given the models at the time, but since things have progressed over the last 5 weeks or so, plenty of new information and data now exists, yet the policies haven't changed and many refuse to even discuss it. That's not logical. Data is the best information we have to assess what's going on, and how best to act so here is a brief summary of this report.
Purpose: To establish if strict lock downs work better to contain the virus vs less stringent social distancing protocols
Data from all US states was used. Data from 8 states where no lock down orders were issued was compared to the rest of the states that have all been under lock down
The data was adjusted for population, and then statistical regression was performed to account for a number of other factors including population, population density, median income, median age and ethnic diversity.The purpose of these regressions is to remove the impact any of these factors have on the data, leaving the only relevant factor being which method the state used to contain the virus
Conclusion: "No. The impact of state-response strategy on both case and death measures was utterly insignificant". In other words, whether a state had strict lock down policies or simply enforced 6 foot social distancing guidelines, but still allowed businesses to stay open, there was no statistical difference in the prevalence of the virus in either number of cases or number of deaths.
What we can do with this information is certainly up for debate and discussion, but the most important thing is that these discussions actually happen, using real data based on what has already taken place, to ensure the policies we implement are reflective of the reality.