What is happening instead of the widely predicted bloodbath? Confirmed cases of the virus are obviously increasing (though the actual rolling weekly average of new ones have been headed down for nearly a month) while deaths remain more or less flat. This is in fact what happens when you test more people for a disease that is not fatal or even particularly serious for the vast majority of those who contract it, for which the median age of death is higher than the American life expectancy.

How was this possible? One answer is that the lockdown did not in fact do what it was supposed to do, which is to say, meaningfully impede transmission of the virus. In fact, data both from states like Georgia and from abroad suggests that the lifting of lockdowns is positively correlated with a decrease in rates of infection. This could be because lockdowns are inherently ineffective at slowing down a disease whose spread appears to be largely intrafamilial and nosocomial.

It could also be the weather. That’s right: another thing that we were told months ago not even to suggest aloud because it would be irresponsible to make assumptions of any kind about the virus, even sensible ones, like the idea that wearing masks just might help slow it down.