Going Viral is a podcast developed by Mark Honigsbaum, a journalist and historian to look at issues around infectious disease outbreaks. The current focus is on Covid-19, with a historian’s interest in the longer-term context of the immediate UK government response. Richard Horton has been arguing that rapid action should have followed the publication of papers from China in his journal, The Lancet, in late January 2020. Robert Dingwall responds that the policy implications of these papers were less obvious than Horton claims. They were not seen through the lens of an influenza pandemic, as he suggests, but as an outbreak of a new coronavirus related to SARS, which could be locally contained in much the same way. The different characteristics of the virus, especially the extent of asymptomatic or presymptomatic community transmission, only became apparent several weeks later.
Find the podcast on the Going Viral site