Chronicling COVID-19February 6, 2021
Covid-19: What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and the Race for the Vaccine by Dr Michael Mosley is one of the most comprehensive compilations on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the pandemic.
Besides technical details about the virus and the pandemic, the book also gives detailed information on how to ward off the infection without losing one’s mental and physical health during isolation.
Mosley, a well-known television personality and winner of numerous television awards, trained to be a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital in London before joining BBC and is himself a medical practitioner.
According to him, SARS-CoV-2 may not die out as quickly as its relative, SARS-CoV-1, the virus behind the SARS epidemic of the early 2000s.
Dr Mosley points out that SARS-CoV-1 produced only about 8,000 cases with 774 deaths, whereas SARS-CoV-2 has already infected over 100 mn people, with fatalities in excess of 2 mn.
In addition, there are asymptomatic cases which are estimated to account for more than half of the total infections in any population. These asymptomatic persons, who are ‘carriers’ of the disease, continue to travel and live their daily lives in the public sphere. Because of this, Dr Mosley calls SARS-CoV-2 more dangerous than SARS-CoV-1 as it is able to remain hidden within the human population without being detected.
The book also includes what leading researchers have to say about this virus, as well as practical tips for frontline medical workers. This is presented in the form of interviews with doctors from hospitals doing research on COVID-19 treatment. The interviews are in-depth and aimed at making the reader aware of ongoing developments in the field of drug development, novel methods of treatment and advancements in the field of vaccine development.
Another notable portion of the book is the timeline of infection,which leads to a question & answer section.
Dr Mosley also has a word on how to maintain an efficient immune system in order to resist the infection. He outlines a detailed plan, including losing weight and eating only as much as is required to keep one healthy rather than bulky. He also explains the problem of a ‘metabolic syndrome’ seen associated with the COVID-19 infection and ways to overcome that. Men, he points out, are more prone to obesity, diabetes and heart & lung problems compared to women, which also makes them more vulnerable to complications from the infection.