New at Peter White Public Library

It’s been almost two years since the alarm was sounded on COVID-19 global pandemic. That’s how long we’ve been living with this disease and archiving its effects on American society. Take some time to analyze the pandemic from different perspectives found in these recently published books, and make your own informed decision about this timely topic.

“E.R. NURSES” by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann (616.025 PA) is a collection of personal nursing experiences that collectively becomes a tribute to all nurses who work with medical emergencies every day in urban and rural hospitals throughout the country. Some of the nurses interviewed were forced to navigate an unforeseen epidemic that left hospital staff isolated, overworked, and emotionally drained by all the suffering and death that confronted them and their COVID-19 patients. Laugh and cry along with nurses as they expose their battle scars from a profession that our nation cannot do without.

“THE SHUTDOWN: How COVID Shook the World’s Economy” by Adam Tooze (330.9052 TO) tracks COVID-19 from the first alarm bells sounding at the end of 2019 to the U.S. lockdown in March, 2020, and through the derailment of a global economy by summer. Confusing medical advice, work-from-home strategies, and destabilization of world markets followed, until a vaccine was approved for emergency use and debt relief for businesses took hold. Graphs and well-researched international information make this a very focused reading experience.

“UNCONTROLLED SPREAD: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic” by Scott Gottlieb, MD (362.196 GO) provides background as to why the United States was ill-prepared to eliminate the COVID-19 virus. From the first report of this virus in China, to the outbreaks in Washington state and New York City, to competing information from the White House and the Center for Disease Control, to the shortages of consumer goods and hospital beds, Gottlieb’s extensive research allows him to summarize events and recommend ways to prevent another pandemic.

“VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC: Americans Tell Their Stories of Crisis, Courage and Resilience” by Eli Saslow (614.5924 SA) will leave you in tears and, at the same time, amaze you with the strength of friends and family who were left standing after their loved ones succumbed to COVID. The author sought perspective from nurses, doctors, business owners, unemployed laborers, food bank workers, teachers, and government officials to illustrate how the pandemic infiltrated every aspect of American society.

“WHAT JUST HAPPENED: Notes on a Long Year” by Charles Finch (814.6 FI) leads readers on an irreverent review of what the public was experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. Finch’s personal notes begin on March 11, 2020, as the country shuts down and he shelters-in-place, noticing unprecedented changes in his surroundings. Readers will relate to his experiences and emotions as the year unfolds into racial unrest and presidential politics. At this point, all we can do is look back.

“WORLD WAR C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (614.59 GU) begins with early news of a SARS-like virus found in Wuhan, China. The author compared it to his work on the film, CONTAGION, about a deadly virus spreading worldwide, later realizing how prophetic the script was. This book is divided into Part 1, which analyzes the disease, the enormity of the numbers of COVID patients that soon overwhelmed the medical system, the politics that erupted between government officials and those promoting public health, and the frantic search for a vaccine. Part 2 talks about planning ahead (as a nation), rethinking individual risk, optimizing daily health, and reorganizing family structure for a new way of living.

“YOU BET YOUR LIFE: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, The Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation” by Paul A. Offit, MD (615.58 OF)  talks about the COVID epidemic in terms of the scientific search for a cure. Medical breakthroughs have to start somewhere, and Offit begins in 1964, with the first attempts to transplant a heart. From there he steps back in time to trace the history of blood transfusions, anesthesia, vaccines, x-rays, chemotherapy, and gene therapy. Interesting case studies and good writing make scientific facts come alive for readers.

By Lynette Suckow

Reference Librarian


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