‘ ‘Like all great stories, COVID-19 is a tragedy, a love stor y gone seriously wrong.’ As COVID-19 sweeps the planet, we are panicked and baffled. Bombarded with disinformation and panic-inducing statistics, we are cowed by the enormity and uncertainty of what’s unfolding. The narrative, so far, has been about this novel coronavirus. But COVID-19 is not just about SARS-CoV-2. It is about the virus and us. We have coexisted with viruses from the dawn of evolution. What has changed? Is it this ‘new virus’? Or, has something changed in us? Have we disrupted something crucial in Nature? A Crown of Thorns is science and history woven into the human story— the long view on a pandemic that’s consuming us. Drs Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan, writing as Kalpish Ratna, distil their study of plagues and epidemics into a work packed with ideas that provoke and insights that illuminate. The clearest account yet of COVID-19, this book will endure new revelations about this virus and serve as a strong basis for future understanding.