The great turn from ancient political and economic structures into more modern ones was not only about property rights, commercial freedoms, and the participation of ever greater waves of people in public life. There was also an implicit epidemiological deal to which we agreed, what Sunetra Gupta describes as an endogenous social contract.
Newspaper reports at the time offer no record of widespread public event cancellations much less forced closures. Sometimes college and high school football games were postponed due to illness absences. Some conventions were cancelled by organizers. But that is all.
“I had hoped that the fires of liberty, burning within the hearts of the American public, would have been strong enough to stop this kind of tyranny from being visited upon us. I would have predicted massive pushback, but it did not happen for a good part of the year. People were mired in fear and confusion. It felt like wartime, with a population traumatized by shock and awe.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker