Despite the fact that the internet is positively overflowing with information about the situation across the world, and despite the fact that many of us receive daily updates from various news outlets and government agencies, one of the trickiest aspects of these new circumstances is feeling as though we still don’t fully know what is going on. For those interested in getting to better know the nature of the virus and what it has in store for us, here are four books that will greatly contribute.
Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread – and Why They Stop by Adam Kucharski
The primary topic of this revealing books is the question of modelling: identifying and analysing the patterns that a virus takes on while it spreads, and what it looks like when it begins to stop. These methods are more sophisticated today than ever and understanding them is the first step toward making sense of the future.
Kucharski, an epidemiologist, begins with the story of Robert Ross – the doctor who, in 1902, discovered that mosquitos spread malaria and went on to mathematically predict how and when outbreaks would occur, modelling contagions for the first time. But the book offers loads of insights into how things spread in general and what role human behaviour plays therein. Disease, political movements, innovations, misinformation, computer viruses, folk stories; Rules of Contagion authoritatively and fascinatingly demonstrates that the spread of just about anything can be scientifically anticipated and tracked and what that means for us.
Outbreaks and Epidemics: Battling Infection from Measles to Coronavirus by Meera Senthilingam
This is a comprehensive overview of humanity’s battle with infectious disease, our successes and failures, what we have learned and defeated, and what are still trying to learn and defeat. It’s been going on for centuries: as we adapt so do the things we are fighting. Public health researcher and journalist, Meera Senthilingam, believes that “an engaging and accurate narrative” is essential for understanding the way that health and disease affect our everyday lives and that a keen understanding is the best way that we can effectively navigate new challenges on this front.
From Smallpox to Ebola and Zika, Outbreaks and Epidemics is a compelling and valuable journey through the science and history of epidemics – a perfect accessible introduction to epidemiology ideal for those struggling to understand the current global epidemic and for those looking to overcome their panic.
The Coronavirus Prevention Handbook by Wang Zhou
101 Science-Based Tips that Could Save your Life.
Dr Wang Zhou prepared this essential guide to preparing for and combating the ongoing epidemic along with his colleagues at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (which, you will remember, means that this comes right from the source).
It’s practical and plainly-written advice is ideal for laypeople and professionals looking to do what they can to retard the spread of the virus. From specific precautions concerning individuals and public places such as masks and handwashing, to ways in which the disease can be detected and treated, from basic entry-level information about contagious disease in general to an overview of coronavirus and its history, this handbook contains just about everything you need to know in order to make sense of what is going on and to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Virus-Proof your Small Business by Douglas Kruger
Among those most immediately hit by COVID-19 prevention methods – social distancing, self-solation and lockdown – will be small businesses. Maintaining cash-flow, retaining employees and adapting ways to provide for customers will present a significant challenge – and one that most businesses owners will not have faced before.
Author and business coach Douglas Kruger is on hand with a list of 50 practical and creative solutions for helping your business survive and perhaps even thrive during this most uncertain of times. Cutting costs, increasing brand-awareness, exploring different channels and diversifying offerings all feature in this book devoted to keeping you, the people you supply and the people who supply you afloat throughout the epidemic. Properly absorbing and actioning the advice contained herein will not only keep you going, financially and mentally, but could also enable you to grow as soon as the situation begins to change for the better.
Be wonderful to yourselves and each other. Stay safe, stay positive, stay busy.