The Coronavirus: What you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic!!

Penguin Random House India announces the publication of one of the first books on the infamous Coronavirus. Pegged as a must read, The Coronavirus: What You Need to Know about the Global Pandemic has been written by practising physician and intemal medicine specialist Dr. Swapneil Parikh, medical researcher and clinical psychologist Maherra Desai, and Director Medical Research, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre and Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Rajesh M. Parikh. This book will be published under the Ebury Press imprint of Penguin Random House. Ebury Press is one of the country’s most successful imprints dedicated to discovering, publishing and building the best voices in popular fiction and non-fiction. It is now available for pre-order on e-commerce websites. (Click below link to preorder)

Co-author Dr Swapnil Parikh says, “Either humanity changes its approach to pandemics or pandemics will devastatingly change humanity”. It is the first book that addresses the history, evolution, facts and myths around the Covid-19 pandemic. With the world trying to cope with the impact of this new Coronavirus, here is a book that will demystify the outbreak and debunk myths that are causing quite a frenzy everywhere. It will tackle conspiracy theories and talk about the economic, political and social fallout of the pandemic. The elusive symptoms of the virus are making it harder to identify and assess the potential threat. Amidst this, correct and expertly led information will be the key to mitigate the problem, and perhaps even clear the air. Commenting on the need of immediate action, co-author Maherra Desai says, “The situation we are in was inevitable. We have had multiple unheeded warniings. Are we willing to learn this time around ? We are invincible only to the extent of preparedness.”

Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Ebury Publishing & Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India, says, “We are currently in the grip of global pandemic caused by Covid-19 and there is lot of scattered information floating around leading to fear and panic. What we need most right now is credible information from professionals that can help us understand what Coronavirus is, and how we can prepare and protect ourselves against it. In this timely and useful book, Dr Swapnil Parikh, Maherra Desai, and Dr Rajesh Parikh explain the do’s, don’ts, bust the myths, explain the history and evolution of the virus and share insights into what lies ahead for us. This is a must read for everybody.”

Commenting on the upcoming book, co-author of the book Dr, Rajesh M. Parikh says, ‘It has been an incredible experience to work on this book, Getting to know the phenomenal courage and dedication of healthcare workers across the world has made us look with renewed respect at our nursing and paramedical staff. Milee Ashwarya has catalysed this book from conception to completion. Despite being close proximity to my colleague Maherra Desai and son Swapneil or perhaps because of it, I had not truly appreciated their knowledge and capacity for tireless research and writing until we worked as a team. I like to believe that appreciating health care workers, my co-authors, publisher and the terribly awesome virus, all in less than 3 weeks, is a transformative experience.”

The Idea

“‘Coronavirus, What you need to know about the Global Pandemic’ is a book brought out by Penguin Random House which covers various aspects of the disease,” says Mumbai’s Dr Rajesh M Parikh, director, medical research, hon. neuropsychiatrist at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre and Adj. Prof. at the Carver School of Medicine, Iowa. His author profile in a book of photographs he once published on Kashmir describes him as a poet, painter, photographer, pilot and India’s first and leading neuropsychiatrist who has taught at institutions like Harvard and Yale.

An alumnus of Johns Hopkins School and KEM, Mumbai, Parikh, who is equally at home at a Pink Floyd concert or discussing the tenets of stoicism or studying Sanskrit, found his learning curve vastly extended while on a visit to photograph the elusive tiger in the Sunderbans recently. “We began hearing stories of the Corona outbreak while drifting in the Ganges Delta late January,” he says, adding, “I realised that we had an impending disaster in the making, like one of those hurricanes that periodically batter the Sunderbans.”

On returning to Mumbai, the first thing he did as a dedicated medical professional was to throw himself into the task of drafting a protocol for Jaslok, so that it would be prepared to effectively deal with the virus, without affecting its other patients and health care workers.

Soon, there arose another task to attend to. Milee Ashwariya, his publisher at Penguin who had long been nudging him to fulfill his promise of a three-book deal, called on a crisp February morning, requesting him to do a book on the virus. It was a no-brainer for Parikh. Having been through two weeks of intense research on it, he agreed; with one caveat: to do justice to the task and meet its crushing 15-day deadline, he would have to enlist the assistance of trusted co- authors. Knowing she was on to something of a publishing coup (no other book on the subject had been announced), Ashwariya gave her nod and Parikh enlisted the help of Dr Swapneil Parikh, his son who is an internal medicine specialist with a keen interest in infectious diseases and Maherra Desai, who has been his long-trusted research colleague.

And what is the good doctor’s prognosis about the coming few weeks? “My co-authors and I have tremendous faith in humanity’s ability to respond to a crisis and emerge wiser and stronger,” he says.

About the authors

Dr. Swapneil Parikh is a practicing physician in Mumbai and the cofounder of a healthcare start up. His practice focuses on reversing lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity. He is passionate about infectious diseases, medical literature and the future of technology in medicine.

Maherra Desai is a clinical psychologist and medical researcher. She has excelled in academics and psychometries and is the site manager of clinical research at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai. She is passionate about fitness, travel and voluntary social work.

Dr. Rajesh M. Parikh is the Director of Medical Research and Honorary Neuropsychiatrist at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai. He trained and taught at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in the US. and at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, He has published research in leading intemational journals and is passionate about poctry, painting. photography, philosophy, linguistics, and aviation. He has cumulatively won over 200 awards in academics and in his diverse activities.


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