Picture this – you’re a doctor on a trip with your best girlfriends from medical school in Spain. You hear about a new virus that could be cause for concern but, eh, you brush it off. Lo and behold – it turns out to be the next pandemic. Artiovirus sweeps the world and becomes one of the deadliest and most contagious diseases of the century. It’s causing young people to seize and drop dead within minutes. Terror, guilt and panic sweep the nation as the world races to find the vaccine (That sounds familiar…).
Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin follows the lives of a friend group of doctors and how they deal with the chaos during and after Artiovirus. The novel recounts the lives of three doctors, Kira Marchand, an infectious disease doctor in Atlanta, Hannah Geier, an ob-gyn in San Diego and Compton Winfield, an ER doctor in New York City. Each character has their own internal battles that they’re fighting when the pandemic hits – Kira has to choose which one of her children receives a potentially life-saving treatment, Hannah discovers she’s pregnant after years of fertility treatments and Compton deals with the fall out of New York City getting hit the hardest – along with the loss of loved one.
This book draws you into the character’s narratives and keeps you hooked until the end of the pandemic. What happens to Kira’s children? Will Hannah and her baby survive the pandemic? How are New York City and Compton holding up after their insurmountable loss? These questions and many more will be answered in the thrilling and inspirational story, Doctors and Friends.
You might be wondering – why on EARTH would I read a book about a pandemic while we’re still in a pandemic? It sounds depressing. Well. The pandemic in the book sounds far worse than COVID so…that’s something right? Besides the fictional symptoms being more detrimental than our real life virus, it is interesting to read about a pandemic while in a pandemic because you can relate to the struggles of the characters. It’s easy to understand the loss and pain of someone dealing with an international disaster like this when you are going through it at the same time. It’s not easy but it makes the book more interesting to read.
Another fascinating point – this book was actually written prior to COVID-19, based on the author’s, a former ER doctor, imagination and experience. Not only is it interesting that this book was written before our own current pandemic, but reading about the outcomes of the characters turns out to be uplifting. Whether or not their fates were positive or negative, reading about them overcoming their individual struggles helps readers face their own daily challenges. These characters are friends, mothers, spouses, coworkers – they foster and support each relationship throughout the novel, even through the darkest of times. That’s something worth reading about.
I personally loved this book because my father is an infectious disease physician who was on the frontline of the pandemic, similar to Dr. Kira Marchand. Watching him battle COVID on a daily basis in March and April of 2020 was both terrifying and inspiring. His endless optimism gave me hope that, even when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, everything would somehow work out in the end. We’ve made leaps and bounds in the scientific community when it comes to the pandemic and are continuing to do so as a society. Although the pandemic isn’t over, it’s far better than when it started. A huge thank you to the healthcare workers, grocery store employees, carriers and frontline staff who stayed out in the world when everyone else was shut in. We wouldn’t be here without you.
Doctors and Friends is one of the books I recommended as a gift – check out the post here for more choices!