Review: You Need To Read This Book To Know All About Coronavirus
The Spanish flu a hundred years ago killed nearly 100 million people in the world of a global population of 1.8 billion people. More people died of the Spanish flu than World Wars I and II cumulatively. This is the blazing fact with which Dr Rajesh M Parikh, Maherra Desai and Dr Swapneil Parikh begin their book, The Coronavirus: What you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic.
Everyone, who is staying indoors and people on the frontline for the fight against COVID-19, wants answers to critical questions like the cure, vaccine, origination of the virus, and its outreach. Tracing the history of the virus from animal species to human transmission to becoming a global pandemic, health experts across the world are trying to get more details about COVID-19 – a deadly virus from the CoV family that also houses SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that killed thousands since 2002.
Taking down a cavernous walk through the history of epidemics and pandemics such as the Spanish Flu, Black Death and more, this book sheds light on the plight of human lives affected by the virus infection that has claimed lakhs of lives globally, including countries like US, Italy and Spain that have far better healthcare system than several countries.
It also tracks India’s dalliances with the myth business on social media, some as silly as ‘5G mobile networks spread COVID-19’ (the World Health Organisation clarified on their website that this is not possible).
While it seems that a crippling pandemic is inevitable, some of us may find it easier to resign ourselves to fate, what we need most right now is credible and comprehensive information from professionals that can help us understand what the coronavirus is, and how we can prepare and protect ourselves against it. This is the first book that addresses the history, evolution, facts and myths around the pandemic. The coronavirus is a timely must-read for everyone keen on understanding its impact and fallout.
- Rajesh M. Parikh is the Director of Medical Research and Honorary Neuropsychiatrist at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai.
- Maherra Desai is a clinical psychologist and medical researcher. She is also the site manager of clinical research at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai.
- Dr Swapneil Parikh is a practising physician in Mumbai and the co-founder of a healthcare startup.
An excerpt from the book:
When we look at diseases beyond COVID-19, it is easy to feel as though threats to our health are looming everywhere. However, the future of humanity is as bright as our brightest minds, be they human or artificial. We can take comfort knowing that the collective intelligence working to solve our greatest health challenges is unmatched in the history of our species. Our collective ability to predict, detect, respond and battle these threats is matched by our capacity for compassion, resilience, love and the willingness of healthcare workers to put the health of their patients before their own. Some worry that in COVID-19, humanity has met its match. Perhaps we will find that in humanity’s collective efforts, health threats like COVID-19 and beyond have met their match!
COVID-19 has also demonstrated a darker side of threats to our health; inequality in healthcare access results in the impoverished bearing the brunt of the disease. COVID-19 is likely to overwhelm the world’s impoverished countries and people, but that is hardly the only threat they face. While we, somewhat leisurely, speculate about the effects of this dangerous new virus, there are billions of people who worry about diseases far long ago banished from more privileged lives. While the battle against COVID-19 rages on, it is likely that many will perish silently, unattended and forgotten, due to preventable and treatable diseases. While we worry about COVID-19, there are mothers dying in childbirth, children dying for want of food and clean water, and the poor die knowing that there is a cure they can’t afford. Perhaps it is best if the question ‘what lies beyond COVID-19’ is posed to the human collective.