“This is how we have always managed viruses. Why is this so different? If we keep introducing restrictions and lockdowns while we wait for a vaccine it will be the young that suffer the most, particularly those from more deprived backgrounds. We can’t keep doing this – it would be an injustice.”
– Prof. Sunetra Gupta, infectious disease epidemiologist, professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford.
Gupta, who has been called the world’s preeminent infectious disease epidemiologist, says it’s a good thing for young and healthy people to be exposed. She’s been a critic of the lockdown approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that the cost is too high for the poorest in society. She has also questioned the quality of the debate on the pandemic. Pointing out that herd immunity is a way of preventing vulnerable people from dying, her view is that countries should follow the general approach taken by the infectious disease epidemiologists in Sweden, shielding the vulnerable as best possible while those with minimal risk go about their lives and allow herd immunity to build up.
She has has been awarded the Scientific Medal by the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific research. In July 2013, Gupta’s portrait was on display during the prestigious Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition along with leading female scientist such as Madame Curie.