Journal of the Plague Years by Alec Pruchnicki MD
(Autobiography / Medical)
Over the last few years, the pandemic has brought such darkness to our world. It has impacted our lives in countless ways, and its effects continue to linger and haunt the masses. As light emerges at the end of this long, horrific tunnel, some have used it as an opportunity to look back and examine the pandemic’s social and emotional effects. This book does just that. Journal of the Plague Years is a fascinating and at times chilling book that offers a first-hand look into what life was like in New York City during the most frightening days of the pandemic.
Written by Dr. Alec Pruchnicki, a geriatrician with a primary care practice in the heart of New York City, the book examines the pandemic in a unique and thoughtful way. Typically when we think about COVID-19, we talk about the case numbers, hospitalizations, deaths, treatments, etc. This book, ironically written by a physician, offers a deeply human view of COVID-19 and its rapid spread through New York. The book is filled with personal ground level observations of what life was really like during those days.
Readers will get a detailed look into the faces of people in the streets, subways, bars, restaurants, stores, and museums. The book examines the complexities of human emotions living through such an unexpected and confusing time. Dr. Pruchnicki does an excellent job sharing the humanity amidst the chaos – while also offering his perspectives on the horrors of the plague itself, the resistance, resilience, and the start of recovery.
The pandemic brought much more than public health changes. It rocked society to its core – emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Because the public health implications were so dire, we oftentimes overlook how the plague impacted the very essence of being human. This book allows us to see into the eyes of those who were living through the pandemic’s darkest days. Dr. Pruchnicki impressed me with his conversational but thoughtful writing style. His book is unique because it is relevant for all readers. Regardless of backgrounds, the entire world shares one thing in common – we lived through the pandemic. That’s the power of this story, it’s the great unifier that elaborates on our generation’s most fearsome shared experience.
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