The Covid-19 epidemic is set to be the most significant health emergency of our time.
In concise, immediate prose, Italian physicist and novelist Paolo Giordano explains how disease spreads in our interconnected world: why it matters, how it impacts us, how we must react.
Writing from his home in Rome as Italy implements the largest peace-time lockdown ever recorded in a democratic country, Giordano expands his focus to other forms of contagion linked to this epidemic - fake news, the environmental crisis, nationalism and xenophobia, our lack of imagination in promoting a new kind of global community.
Clear-sighted, rigorous and moving, this is an essential book for everyone who wants to understand how we got here and how we move forward.
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Full of False Assumptions and Assertions
I'm reading this a year on.
This book sounds like a polemic.
The book presents several interesting and accurate mathematical ideas. However most of the conclusions and assertions are inaccurate and purile.
Mathematics has unfortunately driven the insanity, not prevented it.
Perhaps the biggest and most important fallacy
is that the susceptible are NOT reduced by separation, on the contrary, separation works to reduce immunity and thus prevent the reduction the susceptible, in contradiction to the author's opinion.
In the decade leading up to the pandemic, several important nations came independently to the same conclusion, after a decade of research into pandemic response, these nations came independently to the same conclusion, that the quarantine of healthy people was counterproductive.
There are inacurasies in the Infection Fatality Rate estimates.
His concerns about Africa proved unfounded, for several reasons. The death rate has been highest in the US and Europe. This us possibly because of population density, but is more likely other factors. The death rate in central Africa has been, proportionatly, around a tenth of the US for example. Much of this is due to the hours of sunshine and hence the amount of Vitamin D generated in the body, but is also due to the diet and metabolic health. It is also true that both Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin are in wide use in Africa, these are both drugs which have been shown effective in the treatment of the disease but knowledge of which has been suppressed and censored.
On the contrary, the effects of the separation, what we now call Lockdown, will be found to be far more devastating for the worlds poor, including Africa than the pandemic.
The separations have lead to the prolonging of the pandemic, and have perhaps caused many more different mutations, along with putting selection pressure on to the virus to produce more infectious variants.
As I type there are an estimated 2.6 million deaths worldwide with COVID19, several forecasts put the collateral deaths as result of lockdown induced starvation alone at 130 million worldwide. Early estimated were of 1 to 10 million additional, avoidable deaths from AIDS as a result of Lockdowns. There is not a cause of death that has not seen an increase as a result of the single issuing of our Public Health services, which have turned from being Public Health services to Public COVID services.
The economic effects and related deaths, of the lockdowns will drag on long past the end of the pandemic.
We cannot blame the author for the lockdowns or the foreseeable side effects of them. Though we can blame him for the inaccuracies in his assertions and his omission of the foreseeable side effects (collateral health deaths, effects on mental and physical health, effects on society, extension of the pandemic, the creation of genetic and evolutionary selection pressures on the virus and the economic effects).
I struggled to finish this book, despite its small size. It's total lack of intelligent conclusion, beyond the initial mathematics, was difficult to bear. The climate change nonsense highlighted the authors political leanings
His assertions of the lack of innate immunity have also been proved wrong. An estimated 30 to 60% prior immunity, from exposure to COV1 and other coronaviruses has been shown.
These are not the only inaccuracies and falsehoods espoused, and of course we now have the benefit of hindsight, data and study, which the author did not have.
One of the truest assertions, was the fact that science depends on doubt and opposition, yet it is views like those expressed in this book which has lead to the suppression of opposing scientific views, the censoring of non-narrative supporting ideas and discussion, and the hiding of potential treatments.
Read, if you wish, but with an open mind.
For me this book was difficult to finish, though it did give me a glimpse of the reasoning behind the mind of an Alarmist, a few good counter arguments.
the reader was ascerbic, noisy and brash. His voice and reading style added to the jarring and annoying nature of the material. I am pretty sure you couldn't have found a more annoying voice to read this if that was your main consideration.