From two primary perspectives—medical and liberty—the lockdowns were massive failures. From Jeffrey Tucker at realclearmarkets.org:
Life in the United States and in many parts of the world was transformed in mid-March 2020. That was when the great experiment began. It was a test. How much power does government have to rule nearly the whole of life? To what extent can all the power of the state be mobilized to take away rights that people had previously supposed were protected by law? How many restrictions on freedom would people put up with without a revolt?
It was also a test of executive and bureaucratic power: can these dramatic decisions be made by just a handful of people, independent of all our slogans about representative democracy?
There is so much to unpack from those early days, every day filled with drama and meaning.
There were two critical turning points, so far as the public knows. The first was on March 12, when Trump gave an evening speech that ended in announcing a travel ban from Europe. Fauci had previously said that it would not happen.