Is the pandemic fight winnable or are we going to keep chasing these variants forever? And What does this mean for our lives and our economy?

As we were all gearing up for a roaring return to normalcy, the Delta variant has tempered enthusiasm. Before Delta, we fought a virus and thought we may have won by developing a vaccine...quickly (THANK YOU Operation Warp Speed, and thank you to the ecosystem of life science start-ups and large pharma companies, and to the years and years of massive investment in the sciences that made all of this possible).

But three dominant variants later, it looks like we're not fighting a virus as much as we are fighting the fundamental rules of evolution. From Alpha to Beta to Gamma to Delta, the virus is becoming more contagious (while its effects are also less severe for the vaccinated). What should this tell us? What does this trajectory look like?

To help us understand the new ambiguity we’re in, we checked in with Dr. Sid Mukherjee - a stem cell biologist, cancer physician and hematologist.

Dr. Mukherjee is a New York Times bestselling author. He’s written three books: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, which was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction. In it, Sid traces the history of cancer from its first appearance in an ancient Egyptian scroll to state-of-the-art labs in today’s research institutions. He also wrote The Laws of Medicine, as well his latest book, THE GENE: An Intimate History. This book has been turned into a four-part PBS documentary series, which Sid worked on with filmmakers Barak Goodman and Ken Burns.

Sid is also a writer for The New Yorker magazine. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University, and a cancer physician and researcher.

Sid completed his internal medicine residency and an oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford -- where he studied immunology — and Harvard Medical School. He is also behind a number of start-ups in the life sciences.

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