Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

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‘The Premonition: A Pandemic Story’

By Michael Lewis, Penguin Random House

The author examines the complexities of scientific and institutional problems that have come in the way of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 15 months. There is a kind of foreboding as it tells the true story of a group of medical visionaries in the US, who knew early on, that something dreadful was looming. But they banged against a wall of ignorance as the American government initially refused to acknowledge the possibility of a pandemic breaking out.

Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

In January 2020, when people started dying from coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China, the team of dissenting doctors, whom the author nicknames the Wolverines and even scientific misfits, anticipated, traced, and hunted down the coronavirus. They understood the need to think differently and learn from history, questioned everything and urged the administration to act fast.

When censored news out of China was worrisome, governments continued to be in a state of denial and America kept repeating mistakes. But the team refused to follow directives based on an unscientific narrative to save lives. This piece of non-fiction is a bold narration of how the human mind works, the failures and triumphs of human judgment and imagination. Quintessentially, it reveals the truth of society and is the story of how we got where we are now in our fight against COVID-19.

‘The Vaccine Book for COVID-19’

By Dr. Rajesh Parikh, Penguin Random House

Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

His first book was on the Coronavirus and now, Dr. Rajesh Parikh, a neuropsychiatrist at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, has come out with his second on vaccines and their importance. At the time of its printing earlier this year, 10 vaccines for COVID-19 had already rolled out globally and by the end of 2021, at least 10 more are expected. The author explains vaccinations are rites of passage and it will soon become important to question which vaccine is more effective and when to take it.

Dr. Parikh takes the reader into the history of the gravest diseases mankind has faced. He pairs diseases such as smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, tetanus, mumps, measles, influenza, meningitis, hepatitis, tuberculosis with their vaccines to tell us how millions of deaths were prevented and how the infection plateaued. The author also talks of how the efforts of scientists, researchers, and technicians in containing diseases remain unrecognised.

The most useful chapter is the one where he clears common doubts about vaccination in a Q&A format to provide the information most of us seek while making our way through the vaccination maze. These include some basic questions like: why do I need a vaccine if I have been fine so far, how did our vaccines get approved so fast, how safe is the vaccine, which is the best vaccine, do vaccines interfere with other medications and many more.

‘Fitness Habits: Breaking the Barriers to Fitness’

By Amaresh Ojha and Subhra Moitra, Srishti Publications

Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

Fitness enthusiasts Amaresh Ojha and Subhra Moitra address fitness at all its levels: how to embrace it, keep pace with it, and win at it.

The book is a compilation of research-based studies that challenge common notions about fitness and suggest ways to create and stick to your own easy action plans. To make a beginning, the authors say you first need to acknowledge your failure at fitness, as that leads to a mindset transformation. The book helps to devise an integrated model that changes your perception of fitness and suits you best.

The book is a ready reference for beginners, for those who started in the past but couldn’t continue, and those who have an on-and-off relationship with fitness. It nudges you to proactively think about how to maintain an equilibrium with your existing habits while creating new (fitness) habits, how to understand and reshape your behavioural pattern and how to embrace the survival strategy and start investing time every day.

‘How to Get Glass Skin: The Industry Secrets to Getting Flawless, Glowing Skin’

By Anupriya Goel, Penguin India

Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

Dermatologist Dr Anupriya Goel believes every individual can get ‘glass’ skin with the right schedule, understanding of their own skin conditions, and time.

The author was inspired to write the book following a trip to South Korea, known for its love of skincare. As she dug deeper, she found hydration and the consistent use of products at the core of the Korean glass skin.

Goel says that as much as we take care of the nutrition and supplements that go into our body, we also need to understand the active ingredients in skincare products and their suitability to our skin type, before investing in them.

Her book takes you through a range of cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, sunscreen lotions and facial oils. She touches upon the frequency of using various products and the correct way to apply them on the skin, reminding the reader to follow the steps diligently and consistently. She also offers instruction on the basics, like how to wash your face and how often, along with home remedies.

‘Ayurveda: The True Way to Restore Your Health and Happiness’

By Dr. G G Gangadharan, Penguin Random House

Books that touch upon different aspects of the pandemic and give us hope

Dr. G G Gangadharan makes it clear that his book is not ‘in defence of Ayurveda’. He says our body is an intelligent system that is designed to keep most diseases at bay, but we must also pay attention when it sends out distress signals. With easy and simple applications, Ayurveda helps to restore the body and mind to their original healthy state while transforming an individual's daily life.

The book is a beginner's guide to essential, useful Ayurvedic practices. He says Ayurveda succeeds in transforming lives by addressing each individual as a whole and not just treating the disease. He says the holistic approach involves healing of the body and the mind through food, sound, breath and for that, a better sensitivity to one's own body is required.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:21:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-that-give-us-hope-during-the-pandemic/article34849537.ece

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