Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live

Little, Brown Spark. Oct. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780316628211. $29. MED
Christakis (Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society) focuses on the biology of the COVID-19 pandemic and our sociological responses to it. Beginning with a detailed history of the pandemic so far, the author then compares behavior during past pandemics with the current handling of the virus, including lessons not learned from previous epidemics. Christakisexplains the biology of transmission and super-spreader events and the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions to slow the virus. Next, he discusses emotional responses to the pandemic, including the us vs. them mentality and how the pandemic has become politicized. It is easier to blame others for our circumstances than to admit that we are feeling powerless, he maintains. This is the first pandemic in which social media has been a factor in spreading misinformation and distrust of science. Also explored is eventual immunity and how it may become a factor in hiring, housing, and immigration; and what the postpandemic future may look like in various areas of life.
VERDICT An excellent overview of the pandemic thus far, this work will be of interest to those seeking a full explanation of how we got where we are in terms of the virus and the direction we might be going.
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