Every Minute Is a Day: A Doctor, an Emergency Room, and a City Under Siege

Crown. Aug. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780593238592. $28. SOC SCI
With this debut, emergency room doctor Meyer collaborates with journalist Koeppel to tell a personal account of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the narrative predominately revolves around Meyer’s story, it also includes vignettes from interviews with several other doctors, nurses, and medical assistants, to indicate the wide range of U.S. health care workers’ experiences. Meyer recounts the pandemic from the period before it was identified, through its emergence in the United States, the virus’s terrifying uncontrolled community spread, and concern about the long-term repercussions of COVID-19. The co-authors argue that forging personal connections is vital to practicing emergency medicine, and they impart health care providers’ efforts to compensate for the myriad ways that personal connection was hampered by pandemic precautionary measures. The book isn't only a document of trauma; it also notes moments of joy, like when medical staff discovered new treatments with better patient outcomes, or when Meyer's mentor survived after contracting the virus. Meyer and Koeppel argue that COVID-19 revealed the dysfunction of the U.S. medical system; to that end, it might have been useful to include information about how readers can get involved in changing the system.
VERDICT Overall, this memoir and sociological account enlightens, reminds us how far we have come, and is a model for practicing gratitude.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing