Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid
In hindsight, we can see how COVID-19 could have been halted in its tracks. In The Plague Year, Lawrence Wright delves into the whys and wherefores of the pandemic, showing where the US failed and may not yet have learned essential lessons.
Three key reasons, not excuses, explain how the trouble started: China, aware of the Wuhan epidemic, refused WHO workers access. Next, COVID tests were botched repeatedly, causing a considerable delay in finding remedies. Above all, the need to wear a mask when requested and maintain social distancing was unequivocally important.
Wright takes the story further and organizes the book so admirably that no need arises to traipse back and forth to keep track. Somewhat regrettably, due to persistent TV news, the pandemic has acquired an almost impersonal feel despite its incalculable personal impact. Wright introduces the key players affectionately, focusing on the heroes both named and still anonymous, giving scant space to the villains who have made a sufficiently bad name for themselves.
The book is replete with information, details, and even humor. Anyone seeking a good beach read this summer may well prefer this to the customary fare.
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