Book cover of Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammenby David Quammen

National Book Award Finalist

The story of the worldwide scientific quest to decipher the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, trace its source, and make possible the vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Breathless is the story of SARS-CoV-2 and its fierce journey through the human population, as seen by the scientists who study its origin, its ever-changing nature, and its capacity to kill us. David Quammen expertly shows how strange new viruses emerge from animals into humans as we disrupt wild ecosystems, and how those viruses adapt to their human hosts, sometimes causing global catastrophe. He explains why this coronavirus will probably be a “forever virus,” destined to circulate among humans and bedevil us endlessly, in one variant form or another. As scientists labor to catch it, comprehend it, and control it, with their high-tech tools and methods, the virus finds ways of escape.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for Converging DialoguesConverging Dialogues 
#173 – The Scientific Race to Defeat COVID-19: A Dialogue with David Quammen
10/30/22          68 min

Podcast art for This Week in VirologyThis Week in Virology 
TWiv 948: Breathless by David Quammen
10/23/22            110 min

Podcast art for For The Ages: A History PodcastFor the Ages: A History Podcast 
Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus
11/28/22           32 min

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