The Pandemic Diaries
Perspectives on COVID-19 from the creators of The COVID-19 Curator
Stephanie Sutton, Rich Whitworth, Michael Schubert |
Stephanie Sutton, Editor of The Medicine Maker and “a curator” on The COVID-19 Curator
At the start of 2020, I was naïve about what COVID-19 really meant. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about a pandemic. Back in 2005/2006, there were fears about H5N1 and significant media attention, but the pandemic (thankfully) never materialized.
And then in 2009 came swine flu. I remember reporting on the deaths and cases in a weekly newsletter that I was responsible for at the time. The numbers were high, but the situation never felt out of control. A bottle of communal hand sanitizer appeared in the office – but most people didn’t use it.
When COVID-19 began to appear in headlines, I wrongly assumed it was another flu we’d weather through. I even reassured family and friends, explaining that it was highly unlikely to be as terrifying as the media was hyping it up as. I was completely wrong. Even people directly involved in the pharma industry did not appreciate the severity of COVID-19 in January. One anonymous individual I spoke with explained that someone had mentioned COVID-19 at a briefing in January – not because they felt it was dangerous, but just as a “point of interest”.
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