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Biography & Autobiography Medical

The COVID Journals

Health Care Workers Write the Pandemic

edited by Shane Neilson, Sarah Fraser & Arundhati Dhara

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Medical, Canadian, Caregiving, Canadian
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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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.

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.

Shane Neilson's profile page

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.

Sarah Fraser's profile page

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.

Arundhati Dhara's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“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

"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

“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]

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