Like andyb said above, using masks and vaccines, among other tactics, to battle a viral pandemic are the normal and correct measures. It was done all over the world.
The only place, besides China which in fact did use authoritarian measures, there was significant pushback to those normal practices was here in the U.S.
That was due to the complete lack of leadership at the federal level under Trump, who denied the existence and then severity of the virus, and complete loss of scientific rigor and care from his hand picked heads of the major public health agencies responsible for providing fact-based guidance and data to the government and the American people.
You had Trump live on TV acting as a crank doctor telling people to drink bleach, use horse tranquilizer and advocating for hydroxychloroquine which is totally unproven for usage for anything besides malaria and lupus.
He also refused to use the authority of the federal government to institute another normal pandemic practice which is contact tracing and targeted isolation of infected people to minimize the spread of the virus.
The Trump administration's abdication of any humane response to the virus along with the right wing media's fearmongering and disinformation left the individual states holding the bag, trying to implement their own contact tracing systems, competing against each other for basic supplies, ventilators, test kits and working to manage their medical infrastructure and the shortages of nurses, staff, doctors to protect their citizens as best they could.
Of course, it was a mess. It was absolute idiocy to expect 50 different solutions would lead to a proactive, effective and organized process to manage a global pandemic. This is one of the main reasons we have a federal government. Obviously, the response could have been targeted toward the hot spots and states/cities who did not have active cases could have stayed open and operating. But you cannot expect the states to understand or do that on their own. All they can do is try to take care of their own populations as best as possible. The federal government, led by the President, Congress, CDC and FDA etc., are the ones best capable of managing a national response based on facts and unmanipulated data.
This is why elections matter and voting rights are essential for a functioning representative democracy. If we elect an corrupt con man as President, pair him with congressional representatives that care only for money & power and throw in many governors who openly mock science, experience, facts and death rates, we should not be surprised by the results when any crisis emerges, but especially one of this magnitude.