episode 470

Lessons from Past Pandemics with "The Great Influenza" author John Barry

John Barry is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, a 2004 book on the last global pandemic, the 1918 so-called Spanish Flu. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the book is a bestseller again, 11 years after its original release. John is also the author of Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America. July 23, 2020

In this interview, we discuss 

  • The main similarities and differences between an influenza virus and coronavirus 
  • How COVID-19 impacts older individuals while the 1918 virus largely impacted younger individuals
  • How the United States and many European countries seeked to cover up the 1918 virus
  • How contracting the 1918 virus clouded Woodrow Wilson’s judgement at the Treaty of Versailles 
  • The critical importance of honesty and transparency of leadership in the face of this crisis
  • The failures of the federal government in its response to COVID-19

Among a variety of other topics.


This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

"Another huge difference is the duration. The incubation period for the influenza virus was one to four days. Most people get sick at two. The coronavirus is 2 to 14 days. Most people get sick a little over five, you're sick longer, and you shed virus longer."

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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