5 NONFICTION READS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT VIRUSES
The root of the word “virus” comes from the Latin word for “poison.” We’ve learned a lot about viruses in the past century and a half, although the debate still rages on whether a virus can be constituted as life, since it cannot replicate or live long outside of a living host but can and does replicate in living cells, which leads to all kinds of trouble for the host. We’re seeing this firsthand now with the coronavirus.
We are living in uncertain and frightening times, and the foe in our midst is invisible to the naked eye. One way to help combat fear from what we are dealing with is to understand the thing better and arm ourselves with knowledge.
We’ve pointed you in the direction of reads detailing other pandemics that humanity has faced; now, we’ll take a closer look at the viral perpetrators themselves. The more we understand how viruses affect our bodies and how they are transmitted, the more equipped we will be in leading healthier, safer lives while we get through this. For me personally, especially after losing my grandmother to COVID-19, following the science and finding primary sources of information that will increase my knowledge of how viruses like this act and spread makes me feel a little bit more in control of a situation that can sometimes feel too large to handle.
Here are five nonfiction books about viruses written by medical professionals to help you better understand what viruses really are, how they spread, and what we can learn about them.
VIRUS: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO 101 INCREDIBLE MICROBES BY MARILYN J. ROOSSINCK
Dr. Marilyn Roossinck specializes in virus evolution and ecology, and that expertise is on full display in this illustrated, detailed-yet-accessible introduction to virology. Learn about how viruses are named, how their genes work, how they replicate themselves, how they interact with hosts, and how they travel from host to host. From images of the viruses to where they were discovered to how your immune system can counteract them, this guide is as comprehensive as it gets. 5 NONFICTION READS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT VIRUSES