Book Review – Modern Epidemics: From The Spanish Flu to Covid-19 by Salvador Macip, translated by Julie Wark

First published, 2010
(This updated version will be published 2nd June 2021)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This is the book we all needed at the start of the pandemic. Yes, I said it. In this book, doctor, researcher and author, Salvador Macip talks the reader through the differences between outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, as well as the nature of bacteria, viruses and the scientific advances that prevent us from contracting and spreading deadly diseases.

From plague to AIDS to TB, each illness behaves in an individual style, but the real difference with Covid-19 (for the sake of posterity, Covid-19 is the pandemic we’re living through at the time of writing) is that we live in a world that lives its life, at least partly, online. As such, information, misinformation and something somebody’s auntie said all mix, and we risk spiralling into paranoia and devastation.

Salvador Macip’s book is the calm voice in the storm. Through detailed but graspable explanations, he defines all the major terms, the nature of illness, and what we can do to prevent the spread.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about viruses and how they work, and also to anyone who has a conspiracy theorist in their life who needs to educate themselves or move on.

This is the book.