SCIENCES

COVID-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One

Hachette. Jul. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780306924248. $27. SCI
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Veteran science journalist MacKenzie delves into the history of COVID-19, along with earlier outbreaks, in order to explain the unlearned lessons that contributed to the pandemic. She explains how, in 2013, the coronavirus was discovered by two labs; one in China, another in the United States. Warnings were issued of the threat posed to humans yet no action was taken. The author details reasons why the world was unprepared for this specific pandemic, and why humans remain unprepared for the next viral strains that will surely follow. Governments did not listen to the warnings and were, therefore, caught off guard when the pandemic emerged; the World Health Organization was limited in the scope of its action. MacKenzie does not attempt to answer all of the questions but emphasizes how it could have been prevented, that more pandemics will come and may be worse, and that we must use our experiences with COVID-19 to plan for the next emerging virus. She closes with a series of lessons for the future.
VERDICT This readable, essential account for all readers will be of particular interest to anyone working in public health.

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