Three years ago this Autumn in a city in China we have never heard of, someone got sick.
The virus that caused their sickness had never existed in the universe in that form until then. Within six months, it would have stilled the planet. We have learnt more, more rapidly, about this virus than about any other in history. We have developed vaccines against it faster than ever in history. But even as we leave it behind us there is still so much TO KNOW about the coronavirus pandemic. This is my second draft of its history, after writing its first draft as science editor of The Times. What do we know, how has our understanding changed, what lessons can we take for the future?
Tom Whipple is science editor of The Times. His brief involves all science, from psychology to astronomy - but for the past two and a half years he has been mainly writing about viruses. He has a mathematics degree.