Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond by Sonia Shah
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 250 INR(Paperback)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/3giCsD7
My take on the book:
Pandemic authored by Sonia Shah was originally published in 2016 and the current edition is a revised version published in 2020 with reference to the latest Coronavirus. The book majorly discusses Cholera as an example, its origin, how pathogens chose their medium/carriers, how governments generally fail to contain their spread and ultimately the much-needed cure. The book also touches on the other viruses like Ebola, SARS, HIV, H1NI(commonly known as swine flu).
As a new pandemic saw light in the last one year, the origin and spread of a pandemic is a new concept for entire generations, who have not seen one during their lifetime, till this year. However, reading this book provides insights of how other pathogens had been breeding for a long time and how increased mobility and connectivity around the globe, coupled with failure of timely containment resulted in the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus . The book explains how animals or mediums like air and water are the initial breeders for the pathogens which later transfer to humans become deadly.
The author hence discusses the reasons like the wet markets which help these pathogens to thrive coupled with lack of timely cure and containment strategies of governments which transform into the explosion of a pandemic. The reasons for the spread also include inefficient waste management, social conditions where the lower economic sections are vulnerable and exposed to these viruses. The book is divided into multiple chapters in a chronological order to explain the cause-and-effect along with a detailed glossary and reference material at the end.
The book is extremely well researched and considers the multiple socio-political reasons for these pandemics recurring and thriving. Though it is early to have a concise account of the current COVID-19 virus and resulting pandemic, I would have liked to read more about it as well. That aside, this is an important read for everyone, as the author points the current pandemic may not be the last one.