Half of United Kingdom Already Infected With Coronavirus, Says Oxford Model.
Lots of media reports are citing the results of an epidemiological model developed by researchers at Oxford University that suggests that half the population of the United Kingdom may already have been infected by the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If this is true, that would be great news! Why? Because it would mean that the coronavirus is vastly less lethal than many researchers fear that it is and that lockdowns can be lifted soon. But let’s take a look at what the model is actually saying before you rush out into the streets to hug strangers in celebration of the impending end of quarantine.
There are two big assumptions in the model that basically determine its projections of the percentage of the population who will eventually die of the infection. The first is the basic reproduction number (R0), that is, the average number of people to which an infected person will pass along the disease. The other crucial assumption is that the fraction of the population who are vulnerable to severe disease and death is small.
The researchers explain, “Our overall approach rests on the assumption that only a very
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