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The Year The World Went Mad

A Scientific Memoir From the Pandemic

Mark Woolhouse

The Year The World Went Mad by Mark Woolhouse

In January 2020, leading epidemiologist Professor Mark Woolhouse learned of a new virus taking hold in China. He immediately foresaw a hard road ahead for the entire world, and emailed the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland warning that the UK should urgently begin preparations. A few days later he received a polite reply stating only that everything was under control.

In this astonishing account, Mark Woolhouse shares his story as an insider, having served on advisory groups to both the Scottish and UK governments. He reveals the disregarded advice, frustration of dealing with politicians, and the missteps that led to the deaths of vulnerable people, damage to livelihoods and the disruption of education. He explains the follies of lockdown and sets out the alternatives. Finally, he warns that when the next pandemic comes, we must not dither and we must not panic; never again should we make a global crisis even worse.

The Year the World Went Mad puts our recent, devastating, history in a completely new light.

RRP: £16.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781913207953
Publication Date: 24/02/2022
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Mark Woolhouse
Mark Woolhouse OBE is Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, a post he has held for over twenty years. Well-known and respected in his field, he...



Tom Whipple, The Times


Harry de Quetteville, The Sunday Telegraph

‘A compelling read, comprehensively laying out the case against lockdowns alongside clear explanations of basic epidemiological concepts, and fresh insights from the front line of scientific advice during the pandemic.’

Elsa Maishman, The Scotsman

‘A glorious example of great science communication.’

Fiona Fox, Science Media Centre

‘A confronting and fascinating look at the UK’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic’

Georgina Godwin, Monocle

‘An essential book.’

Matt Ridley, author of Genome and How Innovation Works

‘A unique record of the pandemic year.’

Dorothy H. Crawford FRSE OBE, author of Deadly Companions and Viruses

‘Vital reading for understanding where we’re currently at.’