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B117 to lock down ≥3M in US by 2021-03-11?


SARS-CoV-2 var. B.1.1.7, the coronavirus strain first identified in the United Kingdom, is likely already seeded in most areas of the world. At question-writing time the community thinks it is probably at least 50% more transmissible than previous strains. If so this is likely to have serious consequences. The New York Times describes the situation as "threatening to complicate what had seemed a hopeful, if halting, path to recovery" and quotes an expert describing "the overall picture" as "pretty grim."

Will ≥3 million Americans be locked down because of B117 by March 11th, 2021?

Resolves positive if at any point, a total of three million or more people in the United States are reported to be under lockdown specifically because of B117. "Lockdown" means, in general, extraordinary measures more characteristic of last March and April than the rest of the pandemic, that are widely reported as "lockdown" ("locking down," "locked down," etc) in credible sources. Explicit official indications that the measures are extraordinarily severe, comparable to England's introduction of a new "Tier 4" of restrictions, are also strong evidence of "lockdown." The lockdown cannot be probably or inferentially because of B117, but must be explicitly stated by those mandating it to have been caused by B117, or by B117 and the South African 501.V2 variant collectively. In all close cases it is ultimately a judgment call by Metaculus or Metaculus's moderator(s) based on their summation of credible media reports.

(The cutoff date is one year post-March 11th, 2020, the day the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic in America hit home for many there.)

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