Being a doctor, a nurse or a receptionist in a medical practice has changed a whole lot since March 2020. We’ve fallen into a completely different world, and it’s going to be difficult or impossible ever to go back completely to the way we were. The coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19 – has been the biggest global medical shock for generations.
Why hasn’t Doc Rat been battling the pandemic from its beginning? Well, first I had to finish the tail end of the story about the bushfires, set in January. With that done, and looking just a little bit late into the events, I’ve taken the chance to step back and condense a month or two of recent history into a short recap then set it going from April. So now we’ll get back to finding out how the virus is affecting Doctor Ben Rat, Nurse Mary Scamper and Gizelle Thomson, as well as Daniella Hood-Rat, Phil Krubnuckle, Jarrad Dryandra, Quarrydog Schlag, Flopsy and Jasmine Jaegermond and all the rest of the gang of friends.
Some of you currently have a lot of enforced spare time. Whether you are bored, anxious, grieving or going stir crazy, I hope you’ll take a few of my recommendations of lockdown reading.
Endtown, a webcomic by Aaron Neathery. If Pogo-Meets-Tank Girl were co-written by Arthur C Clarke, Neil Gaiman and Spike Milligan and directed by David Lynch, you may get some idea of where it’s going. In a post-war desert, biosuited humans try to hunt down the last remaining cartoon animals to cleanse their apocalyptic world of contagion, little knowing that the mutagenic virus is really a breach in the fabric of reality itself. It’s masterful writing and masterful art. Five stars. Endtown will enthrall you. Read it free on-line. Physical books can be bought.
Kevin and Kell, a daily comic strip by Bill Holbrook. It’s been around literally since the beginning of webcomics as we know them. A world of anthropomorphic cartoon animals in a semi-civilised world, where the predator-prey relationship is a matter of survival, until some of them prefer to buck the system and fall in love. It looks like an innocuous comic, but the creator has been doing it for a quarter of a century, crafting an internally consistent world that’s quietly subversive in its message of tolerance and goodwill. Kevin and Kell will cheer you up. Read it free on-line. Physical books can be bought.
Any of the books of Paul Kidd. They are fantasy in a variety of genres – Victorian steampunk supernatural sleuths, Japanese samurai ghost hunters, space-faring sword-duelling fortune seekers, magical mice and centaurs in the time of the English Civil War… they’re cracking good stories and gleeful fun. Paul Kidd novels will take you to happy worlds. Buy the ebooks through Kindle, Lulu and IBooks. Physical books can be bought.
Try them out.