Understanding Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Twenty-First Century. Sept. 2021. 144p. Tr $37.32. ISBN 9781728428888.
Gr 7 Up–Beginning with Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan Central Hospital sounding the alarm about a potentially deadly new virus on December of 2019, Goldsmith, a registered nurse, takes readers on a journey through the sequence of events that encompass the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there is controversy about the origins of the virus, Goldsmith explains that it likely originated in a market in Wuhan, China, by jumping from an animal host to a human host. Goldsmith provides readers with background information on bacteria and viruses, including an overview of deadly epidemics and pandemics throughout history. Special attention is given to the difference between various coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (which causes the disease COVID-19). The author then explores the reality of COVID-19 in the United States. Issues such as political partisanship in the response to science recommendations and preventative measures are addressed, as well as the disproportionate impact it has had on communities of color and the spike in anti-Asian hate incidents. Later chapters cover the efforts of healthcare workers and the CDC in caring for patients and preventing illness, as well as the real roadblocks that misinformation caused in the attempts to effectively combat the virus. The enormous efforts to create vaccines are described, as well as the successes and shortcomings of the vaccine distribution rollout. With clear language and an organized structure, Goldsmith places the pandemic in context. Extensive source notes and a selected bibliography are included.
VERDICT If your library needs a well-researched, thorough summary of the COVID-19 pandemic for middle and high school student research projects and papers, this is a solid choice.

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