Apr 28, 2020
Award-winning author and
journalist David Quammen revisits his book
Spillover in the wake of our current pandemic.
He talks about
David Quammen has specialized in
how viruses leave animals that are in close proximity with us. He
wrote his 2013 book
Spillover about Ebola, bird flu, SARS, and other
diseases. It raised concerns over the next spillover virus and
He describes how he got interested in the subject after covering a national geographic expedition across the Congo through the Ebola habitat. His interest progressed into research of the ecology and evolutionary biology of zoonotic diseases.
He comments that he tried to highlight patterns in his book, and in fact ten years ago had a conversation with a researcher that predicted that exact scenario of the covid-19 eruption, down to the Wuhan market. What has surprised him therefore about this spillover virus has actually been the surprise of the global community rather that the virus itself.
He talks more about these past
predictions as well as what information and sources he trusts
today. He adds thoughts about how he sees the virus progressing and
remarks he expects it to take on behavior similar to the measles
model rather than influenza and why.
He adds that there are going to be other spillover viruses and we need the political will to invest in more investigating, testing, preventing, ventilator capacity, ICU capacity, and more in order to prepare.
To find out more, see his
and follow his articles in publications like the New Yorker as well
as his books such as
He's currently working on a book about Covid-19.