In January 2020, leading epidemiologist Professor Mark Woolhouse learned of a new virus taking hold in China. He immediately foresaw a hard road ahead for the entire world, and emailed the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland warning that the UK should urgently begin preparations. A few days later he received a polite reply stating only that everything was under control. In this astonishing account, Mark Woolhouse shares his story as an insider, having served on advisory groups to both the Scottish and UK governments. He reveals the disregarded advice, frustration of dealing with politicians, and the missteps that led to the deaths of vulnerable people, damage to livelihoods and the disruption of education. He explains the follies of lockdown and sets out the alternatives. Finally, he warns that when the next pandemic comes, we must not dither and we must not panic; never again should we make a global crisis even worse. The Year the World Went Mad puts our recent, devastating, history in a completely new light.