C.S. Lewis once said that we should read three old books for every new one. I think we should read three C.S. Lewis books for every new one. He never faced the coronavirus, of course, but in the late 1940s, the world was coming to grips with another threat: nuclear annihilation. The bomb was only a few years old, and in the hands of sworn national enemies. The uncertainty of what exactly could happen, not to mention what might happen, was palpable.
Donald McNeil is the New York Times science and health reporter focusing on plagues. McNeil has reported that “non-pharmaceutical interventions” such as mask-wearing and social distancing have “made a huge difference in lives saved.” Now he focuses on pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. On this front, he has become “cautiously optimistic,” citing experts who “are saying, with genuine confidence, that the pandemic in the United States will be over far sooner than they expected, possibly by the middle of next year.”