Gone Viral

In this week’s Takimag column, the skeptical doctor comments on a Russian book that he recently picked up in France about a fictional plague set in Stalin’s USSR.

Many of us must have wondered whether the virus or the human response to it has done more harm (I leave aside the question of its origins). I think people probably have stronger opinions on this subject than perhaps are justified by the well-foundedness of their opinions. For every piece of evidence there seems to be a counter-piece of evidence. As so often, the best lack all conviction (even when, for political or practical reasons, they have to pretend to have it), while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

One thought on “Gone Viral

  1. Jim

    During the summer of 1973 I worked at a university hospital laboratory doing research under the supervision of a Doctor Albert Klainer. He was a young man then, I believe he’d trained at Tufts. He was an Infectious Disease specialist, a real up-and-coming medical star, and had written a book called, “The Eleventh Plague.” I believe he was Jewish; of course as a young atheist, the implications of the first ten plagues was lost on me. Dr. K was the most charismatic man I’ve ever met. We researched a combination drug – later Bactrim/Septra, which turned out to be remarkably effective against a myriad of diseases. I hope he did well.


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