Spike by Jeremy Farrar

Spike by Jeremy Farrar – The Virus vs. The People – the Inside Story, written with Anjana Ahuja is a bit of a disappointment. It has facts and opinions I was interested in, but it also has a huge bias, not great for a respected scientist. So, Macron was conflicted with imposing lockdowns because it’s a hard choice, but Johnson cared too much about the economy and not enough about people. I think both cared about economy and people and a decision this big with so many implications is pretty hard to take. On top of that, Farrar was not sure lockdowns would work in UK/free western world, he said that in the book.
Germany did amazing, but failed to mention when they started their lockdown… on 21st March, 2 days before UK. On the 23rd the Netherlands started their lockdown. Other countries in EU went into lockdown after – Estonia, Romania, Hungary. Hindsight tells us it was a failure, but that doesn’t do justice to the hard decisions all these politicians had to take.

Spike by Jeremy Farrar

He used what Dominic Cummings said in emails and interviews/blogs as 100% true. This is pretty strange for someone considering that, in reality, what a guy says about another guy might be very close to the truth, but is hardly 100% true. Also, quoting from emails and messages got a bit too much by the end of the book.

I was also annoyed by 2 more things. Firstly, he attacked the government that didn’t ‘follow the science’ and lockdown earlier or for longer. Well, he lives (according to the book) in the leafy Oxfordshire, his lockdown experience might be slightly different than mine in suburban Liverpool and both of ours would be very different from the one experienced by a mum of 3 in a abusive relationship in Croydon. Secondly, he said that it’s not correct that a 30-year old receives a covid jab in UK when healthcare workers in Africa are dying. Really?! I am paying taxes and living under what seems as house arrest for months and when there is a way out… I should give that up. This was coming from someone who already had their vaccine.

Besides these aspects, the book is interesting and I would recommend it, but only if you are happy to go through “the government is bad because they didn’t do what I wanted them to do”. It’s a shame because it was a missed opportunity. I would have liked to read more about what the British government did wrong in a balanced approach and a wider view of what was happening in EU.

Spike by Jeremy Farrar

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 3/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes-ish
Published by: Profile Books
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Science
Pages: 272

About the author: Sir Jeremy Farrar is director of the Wellcome Trust and chair of the WHO’s R&D Blueprint, which activates rapid research in an epidemic. He is an expert on emerging infectious diseases and a member of the UK’s pandemic advisory group, SAGE. He was one of the first people in the world to know about and alert the global community to Covid-19.
Website & Social Media Links: –

4 thoughts on “Spike by Jeremy Farrar”

  • I agree with both yourself and Kelly, about hindsight being a wonderful thing. I don’t think any leader, health service or government got it 100% right, even the Chinese who locked down first – just look at the mess they are still in now!! I was never a big fan of Boris Johnson, but which one of us would have cared to have been in his shoes for that 12-18 month period? I’m sure that only recently I saw this book quoted from on a television news programme, just goes to show how you can take an isolated snippet of information and present it out of context as the truth! Anyone who can quote anything Dominic Cummings said as 100% truth, certainly can’t be trusted to present facts without bias!! – This book sounds like a good miss, but thanks for opening up a discussion 🙂
    Mrs Yvonne D Gill recently posted…The Hidden Childby Rebecca GriffithsReviewMy Profile

    • I read it for university and it was even more annoying because I wanted a good analysis and too many times it got into politics.

  • Maybe some authors should be clear that their book is an “opinion piece”. Just in watching news coverage over the past two and a half years, it’s been interesting to note how many people have criticized the government, healthcare system, etc. for their handling of the pandemic. To be cliche, “hindsight is 20/20”. In most things, I believe people were doing they best they could with the information available. Much of it was uncharted territory.
    Kelly recently posted…Instagram photos #25My Profile

    • I think the problem is that they don’t see it as an opinion piece, but as reality. For a scientist it’s a rather strange approach, but I saw more than once. I agree with you that many were trying to do their best. Journalists were acting as if they were employed at tabloid newspapers unfortunately, adding more pressure and not explaining the situation in a realistic manner.

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