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Plague Doctors
Plague Doctors

Plague Doctors

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How Hawai‘i Battled the Pandemic

A clinical infectious diseases specialist based on the Island of Hawai‘i, Dr. Jonathan Dworkin has served as an advisor to the mayors of Honolulu and Hawai‘i counties during the COVID-19 crisis and has written widely about the state's faltering pandemic response. In Plague Doctors, his front-row seat and hands-on involvement provides invaluable insight into how the state handled—or mishandled—the first eighteen months of the pandemic. In an Afterword, Dworkin analyzes the current-day situation as of fall 2021 and the impacts of the delta variant.

"Hawai‘i has managed to dodge the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in no small part to a ragtag team of doctors and epidemiologists with no budget and no authority. Equipped only with science and sense, they prodded cautious, lethargic public officials to take action against this deadly virus lest it overrun their hospitals. With insight and indignation, Dr. Jonathan Dworkin has written a riveting, reflective tale of this grinding battle—not just in emergency rooms and ICUs but at city hall and the governor's office. If we are to be properly prepared for future public health emergencies, Plague Doctors is vital reading."

—Robert Perkinson, associate professor of American Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Softcover, 256 pp.
Author: Jonathan Dworkin
Release Date: November 2021

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