Reduction in social contact, without full restriction of social contact, creates an environment where the 'success' of a virus depends more on how infectious it is and less on how good it is at preserving the host.
Is this a fair assessment? Do these "lockdown"* measures result in more contagious strains? (*lockdown is a loose term it seems - what I mean are the restrictions where society is asked to do things like wear masks, avoid only certain types of shops, not others, etc).
I cannot easily find any research assessing the relationship between these lockdown measure, their level of implementation, and virus contagion/mortality.
If so, does this evolutionary pressure on the virus lead to more deadly strains? (Because, presumably, the criteria becomes more about contagion and rapid spread and less about preserving the host)
Is this what is happening as a result of social distancing policy today and is it something epidemiologists weigh up against the risks to the healthcare system of a freer policies?
EDIT/UPDATE: I realise that the downvotes are largely due to the way I posed the question and that there is a lot of political sensitivity here. Let me please assure you that my intentions are merely to find research and understand the real effect of lockdown. With no political bias. So to clarify:
I agree that successful isolation will cause the virus to die off. However, looking at society as a whole rather than at individuals, is it safe to say that the practical reality of lockdown is that face masks are worn incorrectly, with incorrect materials, for extended lengths of time beyond their applicability, that people don't fully self isolate but just to a certain extent, etc etc. It still seems to me the virus is given opportunities to replicate but only if they acclimatize to the tougher conditions. Is there any research around to refute or understand this claim?