For as iconic as this game was when it came out, when it comes down to the mechanics, it honestly feels like a bit of a gambling game - one that obscures a lot of critical information from the player.
While playing on "realistic" difficulty, a vaccine was developed and fully deployed within 54 days for a virus with a mortality rate of 0% Hindsight is 2020 (pun not intended) but it shouldn't be hard to figure out that the basic mechanics don't allow players to use their real-world intuition.
There are certain real-world things that are probably too complicated to expect from a game (it doesn't seem as though at-risk populations die off more frequently, as you would expect,) but between the input players receive and the actions they take, the game ends up feeling too obscure. You can read breaking news, but what does it really mean? Knowing how to take advantage of riots, hurricanes, or earthquakes would actually make it so the player could respond to what was happening. However, there's very little the player can actually do. I beat this once using the common technique of laying low as a parasite, but given that this is practically the only way to win it makes other strategies feel basically useless, as well as making the game really slow.
All in all the idea is cool but it's really hard to stay actively engaged. Cool UI and concept make this appealing for a newcomer, but the gameplay isn't deep enough to retain interest.