COVID-19 and the History of Pandemics and Epidemics It can come in waves—like tidal waves. It changes societies. It disrupts life. It ends lives. As far back as 3000 B.C.E. (the Bronze Age), plagues have stricken mankind. COVID-19 is just the latest example, but history shows that life continues. It shows that knowledge and social cooperation can save lives. Viruses are neither alive nor dead and are the closest thing we have to zombies. Their only known function is to replicate themselves, which can have devastating consequences on their hosts. Most, but not all, bacteria are good for us. Some are truly horrific, including those that caused the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plagues. And viruses and bacteria are always morphing, evolving, and changing, making them hard to treat. Plagues, Pandemics and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to COVID-19 is an enlightening, and sometimes frightening, recounting of the destruction wrought by disease, but it also looks at what humanity has done and can do to overcome even the deadliest and bleakest of contagions. This important book chronicles the history of plagues and pandemics, human resilience, and what we’ve learned from the past, including … • The bubonic plague/black plague, which killed 30% to 60% of Europe’s population • The devastation to the indigenous population in the Americas • How the 1918 Spanish Flu did not come from Spain • How disease “inspired” The Canterbury Tales, Wuthering Heights, pop artist Keith Haring, and others • AIDS’ “patient zero” • The differences between COVID-19 and other corona viruses • How climate change will affect future pandemics • The aftermath of various pandemics • Several modern diseases making a comeback • How to stop most epidemics before they can turn into pandemics • The science of preventative measures and medical interventions • An exclusive interview with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the NIAID • … and much, much more.
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