Its bugging me that these "respectable" institutions are falling over themselves to publish research in its infancy, and the news media is then running with it. Seems to me that a load of academics are seeing the chance to make a name for themselves, and grasping at it.
Imperial say "If left unfettered then 250,000 people could die"
Oxford say "It has been left unfettered and 50%+ have already had it"
If they were both anywhere near correct then, by now, we would have over 125,000 people either dead, or about to die. (Actually more, since the 250K equates to how many will have died once herd immunity kicks in, not 100% of the population getting it). That hasn't happened, so either one or both of these bits of research are spectacularly wrong.
But I bring it up because it means even the experts are not willing to make a claim with regard to how long it has been here.
No, but I bet they are praying that Oxford are correct, that's one of the main reasons that they are touting the antibody test as a game changer. and one where they are 100% right to not start shipping the test until they are 100% sure its accurate.
It should also be noted that they seem to be behaving as if Imperial is correct, which is erring on the side of caution. It also seems that they might have managed to ramp up capacity to somewhere near giving the NHS a chance to cope.