Yeah, about what I think:
Now here comes a study at the University of Oxford that poses a mind-boggling question: What if half of the British population is already infected with coronavirus? What if the percentage of infected people who need hospitalization for COVID-19 is actually teeny tiny because, unbeknownst to us, the overall infected population is actually enormously large? If half of Great Britain is already infected, the country is already well on its way to acquiring herd immunity, which means they may be seeing the worst of the epidemic right now. There’s no true “mass casualty” scenario as the virus spreads. It’s already spread. And it turns out it’s harmless in virtually everyone who gets it.
If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment, said Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority develop very mild symptoms or none at all…
The research presents a very different view of the epidemic to the modelling at Imperial College London, which has strongly influenced government policy. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” said Prof Gupta…
The Oxford study is based on a what is known as a “susceptibility-infected-recovered model” of Covid-19, built up from case and death reports from the UK and Italy. The researchers made what they regard as the most plausible assumptions about the behaviour of the virus…
If the findings are confirmed by testing, then the current restrictions could be removed much sooner than ministers have indicated.
Gupta didn’t criticize Johnson or his government for locking Britain down. It’s possible that her model is wrong, after all, and if it is, the consequences of letting the disease spread unchecked would be dire. Plus, social distancing measures are helping to limit the spread of the illness at a moment when it may be peaking, which is important to lighten the load on hospitals. Even if the virus only hits one in a thousand infected people hard, an enormous number will need hospitalization at a moment when half the population or so is infected. Locking the country down right now might be the prudent thing to do even if the Oxford model is correct.
But it would also mean the lockdowns could end relatively soon and normalcy could return.
Go here to read the rest. From the study:
Our simulations are in agreement with other studies that the current epidemic wave in the UK and Italy in the absence of interventions should have an approximate duration of 2-3months, with numbers of deaths lagging behind in time relative to overall infections. Importantly, the results we present here suggest the ongoing epidemics in the UK and Italy started at least a month before the first reported death and have already led to the accumulation of significant levels of herd immunity in both countries. There is an inverse relationship between the proportion currently immune and the fraction of the population vulnerable to severe disease.
Go here to read the rest.
This makes sense since the Communist government of China did their worst to keep this under wraps, with Chinese travelers unknowingly taking this pestilence around the globe before the public became aware of it. If this hypothesis is true, we aren’t at the beginning of this outbreak, but rather nearing the end of it. In these days of global travel, the old models of how long a disease like this takes to travel around the world should be ash-canned.
If the above study is correct, it is likely that fewer than one in a thousand infected get sick enough to require hospitalization. Go here to read about it.