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In the Time of Coronavirus

In the Time of Coronavirus

By: Janet Zinn
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: June 4, 2024
ISBN: 979-8891322141
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: March 23, 2024

Writer and psychotherapist Janet Zinn offers a collection of web entries created during the coronavirus period, arraying a wide range of thoughts and feelings and an opportunity to examine them in her new book, In the Time of Coronavirus.

Zinn began her blog with a purpose: “to normalize our collective experiences.” Although some examples described are personal, she expands on them, and, at the end of each weekly contribution, offers pertinent exercises – both mental and physical - for her readers to practice. Her opening foray, “Self-Care Versus Scare Care,” focuses on the global upheaval that the virus undeniably brought to bear, offering a relevant way to shift perspective from “scare” to “care” by imagining trying to comfort a fearful friend. Throughout her posts, Zinn describes her many walks in New York City’s parks, her short getaways with family, and other lively ventures, all accompanied by photographs. An early entry deals with the death of her father from the virus, helping her to recall her childhood sensitivities as she walks through a park almost deserted on a rainy day. Consideration of often-fraught political news suggests fresh ways to understand the differences in people, while also stressing their similarities and acknowledging their individual strengths. Dandelions, considered a nuisance by some, offer a colorful uplift, prompting her advice to make a bouquet of weeds. While exploring the negative ambiance that the virus has created, Zinn continuously stresses the possibilities and positives, advising readers to change their routine, de-clutter, and make lists of constructive affirmations. As well, she gives such human-scale directives as lighting a candle, using a face cream, or simply snuggling. Zinn believes that despite the rigors of the era, the time will come when we will look back with sentimental feelings on “the lessons learned in the time of Coronavirus.”

Zinn is a licensed psychotherapist who served as a mental health first responder after 9/11, and is therefore well acquainted with the trauma that can result from a widespread awareness of the crisis. She arrived at the decision to create her blogs as she herself faced the trials of the pandemic. The blog evoked feedback from her audience, convincing her that this collection could be well received by a larger audience. With its intimacy centering on Zinn’s experiences and its universality deftly depicted to reach the hearts and minds of others, her book is sure to fulfill the purpose she envisioned.

Quill says: Janet Zinn’s self-help manual, In the Time of Coronavirus, offers an empathic, week-by-week view of the effects of coronavirus restrictions that will be read and appreciated by anyone seeking to solve a large variety of life’s problems.

For more information on In the Time of Coronavirus, please visit the author's website:

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