In the end, the pandemic shackles on California’s economy will have officially lasted 452 days — from a full lockdown starting in March 2020 to an all-but-reopened business world after June 15.

The economic toll of strict mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19 was high. For years to come, there will be grand debates over the government’s pandemic policies.

California is down 1.4 million workers since we learned the word “coronavirus.” Yes, California’s economy is huge and recovering, but April’s job counts are only 92% of February 2020’s pre-pandemic levels.

Only five states — Hawaii, New York, Nevada, New Mexico and Massachusetts — and Washington, D.C., are further behind.

But let’s not forget why the state limited business so harshly: to contain the pandemic that killed nearly 64,000 Californians. On a per-capita basis, California’s death toll was below the national average and better than 30…

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