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June 14, 2023
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v2.1 Reference

The COVID Journals

Health Care Workers Write the Pandemic

Early in the pandemic, medical personnel were our front lines. What was that like? Through stories, art, and poetry, Canadian health-care workers from across the country recount their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The contributors to The COVID Journals share the determination and fear they felt as they watched the crisis unfold, giving us an inside view of their lives at a time when care itself was redefined from moment to moment. Their narratives, at turns tender, angry, curious, and sometimes even joyful, highlight challenges and satisfactions that people will continue to explore and make sense of for years to come. Contributors: Ewan Affleck, Sarah-Taïssir Bencharif, Manisha Bharadia, Christopher Blake, Candace de Taeye, Arundhati Dhara, Paul Dhillon, Liam Durcan, Monika Dutt, Sarah Fraser, David Gratzer, Jillian Horton, Andrew Howe, Monica Kidd, Jaime Lenet, Pam Lenkov, Suzanne Lilker, Jennifer Moore, Shane Neilson, Kacper Niburski, Elizabeth Niedra, Margaret Nowaczyk, Tolu Oloruntoba, Rory O'Sullivan, Jordan Pelc, Nick Pimlott, Angela E. Simmonds, Tanas Sylliboy, Helen Tang, Bobby Taylor, Tharshika Thangarasa, Diana Toubassi, Shan Wang, Marisa Webster, Chadwick Williams, Dolly Williams, Jiameng Xu.Sales Tips:•A broad range of Canadian health care workers recount their everyday lived experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in prose and poetry.•The editors put out a call for general submissions and also solicited work directly from well-positioned writers who also work in the healthcare field. For example, Nick Pimlott, editor of the Canadian Family Physician; Liam Durcan, neurologist, novelist, and short story writer; Marg Novoczyk, medical geneticist and memoirist; Paul Dhillon, family physician and member of the Canadian Forces; Tolu Oloruntoba, Governor General award-winner for poetry; Jillian Horton, internist, columnist, and podcaster; and many more.•The writers demonstrate an ambivalence about being called "heroes" as they struggle to provide childcare and good medical care. Some range philosophically through medical history, reflecting on the strange pertinence of today's headlines with those of the past; others use humour, art, and the power of narrative to offer a glimpse into what health care workers are really thinking. •The contributors help focus on healthcare as a human endeavor. Narratives and stories help to bridge the worlds of clinicians, patients, and health systems, together with the larger community, society, and culture.•The book features a diverse range of contributors in terms of identity and geographical distribution across Canada. They live in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal, Halifax, Millbrook First Nation, and Eskasoni First Nation. Other contributors live in New Brunswick, Cape Breton, and Newfoundland and Labrador.Audience:•The COVID Journals is written for a general audience, on a topic we can all relate to.•It will resonate deeply with doctors and other health professionals.•Personal narratives about life as a healthcare professional caring for patients have an established readership/audience. •It will be of interest to educators and policymakers in public health, as well as health professions educators and students, and those connected to a globally expanding medical / health humanities field.•This work complements Amy Kaler's Until Further Notice: A Year in Pandemic Life and bolsters the Press's medical humanities list.

About the Authors

Shane Neilson is a poet, physician, and critic from New Brunswick who practices in Guelph and teaches at the Waterloo Regional Campus of McMaster University. Sarah Fraser is a writer and physician in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, in unceded Mi'kma'ki. She co-directs the Health Humanities Program at Dalhousie University. Arundhati Dhara is a writer and physician in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, in unceded Mi'kma'ki. She co-directs the Health Humanities Program at Dalhousie University.


"The COVID Journals leaps off the page as a rich unmasking of those whom we too often herald as heroes but too rarely come to know, offering the reader an appreciation of the individuality, pain, love, humour, and creativity of Canadian health-care workers." Lawrence Hill, novelist and essayist"The COVID Journals brings readers into an encounter with the pandemic that is as exceptional as it is ordinary." Emilia Nielsen, Associate Professor, York University"Just as stories have been central to our lives as human beings over millennia, they are also central to medicine. The narratives in The COVID Journals reframe health care as a human endeavor." Pamela Brett-MacLean, Associate Professor, and Director, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine, University of Alberta"The COVID Journals is a poignant and insightful collection of stories, personal reflections, poems and artwork from the frontline of the COVID19 pandemic in Canada. It offers an intimate glimpse into the struggles, triumphs, and unwavering dedication of those who bore the weight of ensuring the well-being of patients and communities. Each writer brings a unique perspective, but a common thread running through every story is that of vulnerability, of honesty, and of humanity. The anthology could be invaluable for those looking for resources that connect the humanities to the 'sciences' in health professions education. This book, a must-read, is a multifaceted, human-centered perspective on the COVID19 pandemic." Upreet Dhaliwal, Research and Humanities in Medical Education, October 23, 2023 [Full review at]

9781772126815 : the-covid-journals-neilson-fraser-dhara
Paperback / softback
224 Pages
$26.99 USD

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