The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated lives and livelihoods around the world – and continues to do so. These personal tragedies will, and must, be told and heard. There is, however, also a truthful and objective scientific narrative to be written about how the virus played out and how the world set about dealing with it. ‘Spike’ is that story – from the inside. Its author, Jeremy Farrar, is one of the UK’s leading scientists and a member of the SAGE emergency committee. As head of the Wellcome Trust, and an expert in emerging infectious diseases, Jeremy Farrar was one of the first people in the world to hear about a mysterious new respiratory disease in China – and to learn that it could readily spread between people. Farrar describes how it feels as one of the key scientists at the sharp end of a fast-moving situation, when complex decisions must be made quickly amid great uncertainty.
THE TIMES SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEARA GUARDIAN BEST POLITICS BOOK OF THE YEARA TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*Revised and updated edition with new chapter reflecting on the impact of Covid-19 two years on, and what come next*Did the UK government really ‘follow the science’ throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as it claims?As head of the Wellcome Trust, Jeremy Farrar was one of the first people in the world to hear about a mysterious new disease in China – and to learn it could readily spread between people. A member of the SAGE emergency committee, Farrar was a key figure in both the UK and the World Health Organization at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic amid great uncertainty, fast-moving situations and missed opportunities. Spike is his widely acclaimed inside story. His account casts light on the UK government’s claims to be ‘following the science’ and is informed not just by Farrar’s views but by interviews with other top scientists and political figures.