Meticulously researched and engagingly narrated, COVID-19 tells us the fascinating story of the virus that changed our world
About the book:
In early 2020, our lives were upended by a new virus that caused the most severe pandemic in over a century. In the span of a few weeks, even visiting a grocery store became a task in risk assessment. Cities and countries across the world closed their borders for their own citizens, as well as foreigners. Newspapers carried alarming accounts of rapidly rising numbers of COVID-positive cases, patients dying and migrant labourers desperately trying to reach home. One was struck every single day with the realization that the pandemic was not just a biological phenomenon, but also a social one.
Where did this virus, first called the novel coronavirus and later SARS coronavirus-2, come from? Did we see it coming? If so, why weren’t we better prepared for it? How lethal is it really? How can we protect ourselves from it? How will the pandemic end? What will life be like once it is over?
In this meticulously researched book, Anirban Mahapatra demystifies the virus and offers us a historical perspective. He charts the scientific progress made in understanding how the virus infects us and how we fight back, and also looks at the social tensions it has uncovered. In doing so, he offers us a clarity that enables us not only to understand the virus but also to live with it.
About the author:
Anirban Mahapatra has been involved in science and scientific publishing for over two decades. He’s written about numerous health- and biology-related topics including cancer, neuroscience and infectious diseases. He earned his PhD in microbiology at the Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio, USA). Anirban takes a deep personal interest in microorganisms too. He likes to travel, cook, read and write poetry, and lives just outside Washington DC.
‘A comprehensive scientific and sociological telling of one of the most disruptive events in our lifetimes ’ — Sandeep Jauhar, author of Heart: A History
‘In a world worn out by the pandemic and infodemic of COVID-19, Anirban’s elegantly written book is a brilliant blend of science, history and sociological analysis that is rich in information and insights, while providing the pleasure of an easy read’ —K. Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi
‘A definitive book on the most recent malady of our times. This is a must-read for inquisitive minds across all ages’—Krishna N. Ganesh, professor of chemistry and director of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati
‘Mahapatra walks [the reader] through all the basics of virology, vaccine development and divergent strategies to mitigate pandemics and to create an essential guide for our times. Everyone should read this book to get a fuller understanding of living in a COVID-19 world’—Craig Lindsley, university professor of pharmacology, biochemistry, and chemistry and director of the Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
‘Deeply informative, highly accessible and engagingly written, offering vital lessons that we must embrace before the next pandemic strikes’— Kevin Davies, author of Editing Humanity and The Sequence
‘Clear, detailed, all-encompassing, elegantly written’— Ambarish Satwik, author of Perineum: Nether Parts of the Empire