‘The clap for the NHS meant nothing’: novelist turned doctor Roopa Farooki on her frontline experience of Covid

Posted by on January 22, 2022 5:00 am
Categories: Global Stories

When the writer retrained in medicine, she never imagined she’d be working through a pandemic. She describes how she has coped with the everyday tragedy by putting her experience into words

In February 2020, when the novelist and doctor Roopa Farooki first sat down to write her latest book, coronavirus was “something that was kind of buzzing around” in the background. “Those of us going to work every day in a hospital, we weren’t really aware of it; we were just blindly doing our job, day by day, patient by patient. Knowing there was this thing happening, but it was insidious. There was a clue here or there, but we weren’t absolutely sure how far it would affect us, or how far it would change us.”

Farooki’s sister Kiron had just died of breast cancer. Kiron was 48, a solicitor and a mother. She had previously been unwell, but the cancer had gone into remission. “We thought she had beaten this thing,” says Farooki. Her sister was straight-talking, fierce in her love, prone to doling out advice whether Farooki wanted to hear it or not. “She was super-amazing at everything she did.” To process it all, Farooki did what she has done since she was a little girl: she wrote about it. “Before she passed away, she saw that I was thinking about her and writing about it. She wasn’t angry about it. But you always worry when you write about someone that you’re twisting yourself into someone else’s tragedy.”

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.