Long blocking times could weaken the immune system and make people more susceptible to dangerous viruses, warns the Oxford epidemiologist
- Sunetra Gupta said lockdown could make people more susceptible to disease
- The Oxford professor’s team had argued that the corona virus arrived in the UK in December
- Competing advice from Professor ‘Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson from Imperial College
An Oxford epidemiologist has warned that long lockdown periods can weaken the immune system and make people vulnerable to future pandemics.
Professor Sunetra Gupta said that intensive social distancing could germinate people and could not develop a defense against new viruses.
She added that “if we go back to the point where we have no exposure,” society “would be like clumps of trees waiting to be set on fire.”
Prof. Gupta’s team conducted studies indicating that the corona virus had arrived in the UK in December and caused significant “herd immunity”.
The results of their modeling indicated that triggering a national ban three months later was either too late or unnecessary.
It competed with the advice of Neil Ferguson from Imperial College, whose predictions of 500,000 deaths prompted Boris Johnson to impose a ban.
Professor Ferguson, who was fired from his position at SAGE following a ban on the blocking rules, subsequently informed MPs that Sweden had achieved approximately the same suppression of the corona virus without a British-style blocking.
The UK has had 43,514 corona virus deaths to date.
Professor Sunetra Gupta said that intensive social distancing could germinate people and could not develop a defense against new viruses
Prof. Gupta added that “if we return to the point where we have no exposure,” society “would be like clumps of wood waiting to be set on fire” (inventory)
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Prof. Gupta argued that international travel helps build defense against new and emerging viruses.
“This is a warning not to assume that the situation where we are not regularly attacked by pathogens puts us in a better position,” she said.
“When we return to the point where we have no exposure, where we keep everything outside and exist in a state that exists as relatively isolated communities, we are like clumps of trees waiting to be set on fire.
“The type of immunity that protects you from very severe symptoms and death can be acquired by exposure to related pathogens instead of the virus itself.”
Prof. Gupta said: “The conditions for spreading a virus have been improved by current practices of global mixing with worldwide travel.
Prof. Gupta’s model competed with the advice of Neil Ferguson from Imperial College, whose predictions of 500,000 deaths prompted Boris Johnson to impose a ban
Boris Johnson (pictured with Rishi Sunak, June 26) ordered a national ban on March 23
“But what has also been strengthened is the level of cross protection we get from exposure to various errors.”
‘Overall, we are in a better place with all these international trips. The conditions under which a pathogen could kill many people have been reduced. ‘
She also claimed that living in a “largely resembling state” in 1918 “created the conditions for Spanish flu to kill 50 million people.”
Prof. Gupta’s model suggested that the virus arrived in the UK in December, about two weeks before the first reported case and one month before the first reported death.
This means that it may have had enough time to spread widely and that many Brits have gained immunity. Prof. Gupta had recommended tests to evaluate the theory.
In May, the Oxford epidemiologist said companies could be reopened immediately without risking a second surge in Covid-19 infections.
She said to Unherd, “I think there is a possibility that we would have done better if we hadn’t done anything or at least did something else, namely, taking care to protect the vulnerable, thinking about protecting the vulnerable 40 years ago when we started cutting hospital beds.
“The roots of this go far back.
‘The government’s defense is that this (the imperial model) was a plausible worst-case scenario. I agree that it was a plausible – or at least possible – worst-case scenario.
‘The question is, should we react to a possible worst-case scenario given the cost of the block? It seems to me that given the rising cost of the lock ‘.