Given the continued spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, we urgently reached out to John Barry, author of the award-winning New York Times best-seller The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History.
Two years ago, we interviewed John about the expected implications should a pandemic of similar scale break out in today world. Little did we realize at the time how quickly his insights would prove relevant.
John remains quite concerned at how the world’s readiness for a pandemic is woefully lacking, exacerbated by the hyper-connectedness of our modern society (i.e., the ease and speed with with people can travel).
And while good data is scarce in these early days, what we do know so far about the coronavirus does not encourage him. If the virus is indeed as contagious as suspected, he sees no hope of containing it before it becomes widespread.