“This is the revenge of the viruses,” said Dr. Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “I’ve made their lives difficult. Now they’re trying to get me.”
Dr. Piot, 71 years old, is a legend in the battles against Ebola and AIDS. But Covid-19 almost killed him.
“A week ago, I couldn’t have done this interview,” he said, speaking recently by Skype from his London dining room, a painting of calla lilies behind him. “I was still short of breath after 10 minutes.”
Looking back, ruefully, on being brought down by a virus after a life as a virus-hunter, Dr. Piot said he had misjudged his prey and had become the hunted.
“I underestimated this one — how fast it would spread. My mistake was to think it was like SARS, which was pretty limited in scope. Or that it was like influenza. But