I loved this book. Fast-paced, engaging, couldn't put it down. A heart-pounding telling of the misadventures that led to one of the worst pandemics in history. A story that we all think we know, but don't. And a story whose lessons, if unlearned, we will be condemned to repeat
Debora MacKenzie is a leading science journalist, with vast experience writing about pandemic threats and neglected diseases. She uses her background to hit the ground running on one of the first books written on the emergence of COVID-19. As politicians and elected leaders increasingly work to change the narrative on COVID-19 on their steps to first contain and mitigate the pandemic, Debora's efforts lay it all out in stark terms
This definitely deserves a read - the first of the post mortems by a writer who knows what she's talking about
A fascinating behind the scenes look ... If someone asks you why the COVID-19 epidemic happened and how we can prevent the next one, hand them this book
A vivid account of the origins and fortunes of coronavirus, warning that worse may be yet to come ... Charting the etiology and course of the virus, MacKenzie observes that nearly everything about its origins and spread offers lessons on how not to act when the next pandemic comes ... Essential, enlightening reading in a time of panic and plague
You could not hope for a better guide to the pandemic world order than Debora MacKenzie, who's been on this story from the start. This is an authoritative yet readable explanation of how this catastrophe happened - and more important, how it will happen again if we don't change
So often, people look at the nature of disease in the midst of an outbreak when, really, it's the interaction between the disease and people that matters. That is at the heart of epidemiology, and it's what MacKenzie does beautifully in her book. Whether it's cultural practices with animals like bats, or the fear and delay in labeling it pandemic, to a woeful lack of funding for public health and vaccine research, or the misguided notion that disease will recognize boundaries just because people do-MacKenzie's fascinating book gives us the scope and scale to be able to put this pandemic in perspective and, it begs the question, will we learn from this in time to prevent to next one
Some people write interesting autobiographical recollections of people, places, and events, while others offer an extensive and comprehensive anthology of a topic area. Deborah Mackenzie has not only succeeded in doing both in a single volume, but in a manner that is immensely engaging ... an excellent work for general consumption as well as for those already involved in communicable disease control, microbiology, epidemiology, and medical journalism. In our present climate of regrettable tweets, unverified facts, and deliberate misinformation, this timely book provides a delightful and important excursion into the world of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics
MacKenzie wisely leaves the specifics of who got what wrong when for another day. Instead, she focuses on the scientists and philanthropists, such as Bill Gates, who tried to alert the world to the threat ... Until we repair our injured planet and address the linked issues of globalisation and the disruption of animal habitats, Sars-CoV-2 is unlikely to be the last pandemic virus; MacKenzie also cautions that "hindsight helps you win the next battle, not the last one"
Impressively paced and comprehensive
Quickly spiralling from a local outbreak to a global crisis, Debora MacKenzie provides a down-to-earth account of how the COVID-19 pandemic has played out so far and, crucially, how the world can be better prepared for the ever-present risk of another epidemic
Excellent . . . analyses clearly and authoritatively how the coronavirus pandemic played out, what governments should have done, and what we need to do when it happens again - as it undoubtedly will
Science journalist MacKenzie delivers a wise and accurate account of the COVID-19 pandemic, supplying readers with an objective assessment of where we are, how we got here, and how to prepare for future emerging infections
It's difficult for any fellow journalist not to feel a deep professional respect, tinged with awe, for the sheer depth of knowledge and expertise she brings to what is her first book, and for the fast-paced, well-structured and highly accessible style in which she tells the Covid-19 story
For deep understanding of the years of policy mistakes, the ignored warnings and the viruses lurking as we invade ever more ecosystems, turn to Debora MacKenzie's magnificent COVID-19. Read about the Nipah virus and see what a civilisation-threatening pandemic might be like. Be afraid.