At the Pandemic Institute, a group of scientists are waging war on an unknown assailant
How to go about the simple task of avoiding global catastrophe
Dear members — in March 2020 I was packing up my uni room and planning to head back home at short notice, to avoid being holed up alone in Exeter for the unforeseeable. The world was in panic mode as a previously unknown virus had struck (Disease X as they call “unknown” viruses in the world of disease prevention) but I was largely sanguine. The uni had emailed and told me my upcoming exams were now “open book” and could be completed from the sanctity of my childhood bedroom, or even out in the garden. It was weirdly hot for a British spring.
As it turned out, my early proclamations that the Covid-19 pandemic was a real stroke of luck were probably misguided. With the benefit of hindsight, I can hold my hands up — it wasn’t great. But here in Liverpool we have a group of scientists who have made it their mission that we’ll never again be caught off guard by a Disease X again, that next time — whenever that may be — we’ll be prepared for whatever gets thrown at us. In today’s edition of…