A professor at the University of Oxford spoke out this week to say that coronavirus lockdowns might have been a bad idea, and that the world may have been better off not doing anything about COVID-19.
Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford, told UnHerd that the virus is already on its way out of the United Kingdom, adding that the real infection rate is likely really low.
“I think the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would definitely be less than 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) and probably closer to 1 in 10,000 (0.01%),” Gupta said.
She went on to say that she is against lockdowns, pointing out that the COVID-19 outbreak has been pretty much the same in every country, even though they all have different lockdown restrictions. “In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork,” Gupta explained. “Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behavior which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that’s a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect.”
The professor then blamed governments for overreacting to the Imperial model, which had projected 500,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.K. and more than 2 million in the United States. “I think there’s a chance we might have done better by doing nothing at all,” Gupta said. “Or at least by doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to protecting the vulnerable, to have thought about protecting the vulnerable 30 or 40 years ago when we started cutting hospital beds. The roots of this go a long, long way back.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that these coronavirus lockdowns may have gone way too far. As time goes on and more details about this come to light, it’s crucial that the leaders who overstepped their boundaries throughout this crisis be held accountable for what they have done.