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The wisdom of plagues : lessons from 25 years of covering pandemics / Donald G. McNeil Jr.

"For millions of American's, Donald McNeil was a comforting voice when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. He was a regular reporter on the New York Times's popular podcast The Daily and told listeners early on to prepare for the worst. Over the years, he'd covered AIDS, Ebola, influenza, malaria, MERS, SARS, tuberculosis, and Zika, and he quickly realized that an obscure virus in Wuhan, China, was destined to grow into a global pandemic rivaling the 1918 Spanish flu. Many science reporters understand the basics of diseases--the way a virus mutates, for example, or what goes into making a vaccine. But few understand the psychology of how small outbreaks turn into pandemics, why people refuse to believe they're at risk, or why they reject protective measures like quarantine or vaccines. By the time McNeil wrote his last New York Times stories, he had not lost his compassion--but he had grown far more stonehearted about how governments should react. While every epidemic is different, failure is the one constant. In The Wisdom of Plagues, McNeil offers tough, prescriptive advice on what can be better prepared for the inevitable next pandemic."--Dust jacket flap.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781668001394
  • ISBN: 166800139X
  • ISBN: 9781668001400
  • ISBN: 1668001403
  • Physical Description: xii, 368 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 303-350) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Part one: Initial reflections on pandemics. Covid as a nervous condition ; How I got here ; What I learned on the way ; Part two: The tangled roots of pandemics. What if we'd handled Covid differently? ; What if we'd handled monkeypox differently? ; Where pandemics came from, and how they changed us ; Why no pandemic will be our last ; Part three: The human factors that spread pandemics. The networks that trigger blame ; The missed opportunities ; The "not me" denialism ; The failures to understand culture ; The cancer of rumors ; The despicable profiteers ; The rare politicians who outwit scientists ; The media's forced errors ; The crises of trust and fetishization of science ; Part four: Some ways to head off future pandemics. We need a pentagon for disease ; We need to fight global poverty ; We need to ban religious exemptions ; We need to improve surveillance ; We need to rationalize "emergencies" ; We need to respect witch doctors ; We need to make medicine cheaper ; Like it or not, we need mandates.
Subject: Epidemiology.
COVID-19 (Disease)
Public health surveillance.
Public health > United States.
COVID-19 (Disease)

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at Nazareth. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity 614.4 MCN 2024 (Text)
Bookplate: Donated by The Friends of the Library, 2003.
31001101912252 Adult Non Fiction Checked Out 03/09/2024

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