NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dr. Alex Jahangir was thrust into the spotlight at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the head of the Coronavirus task force in 2020.
That’s when his world was turned upside down. A trauma surgeon, and relatively unknown face to the general public became THE face of the pandemic response in Nashville.
It was a challenge, Dr. Jahangir faced head-on.
“I don’t think of myself as any different as anyone else who’s been asked to do something to make the community in which they live in better,” said Dr. Jahangir.
It was a difficult time for us all, and Dr. Jahangir was no exception.
But throughout it all, he kept meticulous notes, as a surgeon always does, but these notes were different.
“I had a little composition book in my home office, and I would just start writing jotting notes every day,” remembered Dr. Jahangir.
“It really was how many cases do we have that day, a number of deaths, what we ended up doing that day. And about a year and a half into this pandemic, I just went back and started reading through some of what we had, what I had written, and what we had done, and what we had all experienced as, as a community.”
Two years later, as we emerge from some of the most uncertain times in our lives, Dr. Jahangir was compiling his notes for an article when he realized he had much more to say and share.
Those notes soon became a book by Dr. Jahangir, called Hot Spot: A Doctor’s Diary from the Pandemic.
Some chapters read like a snapshot of the day, but there are also reflections on his personal experience, like the anger he often faced from so many in hundreds of press conferences.
“I felt that the compass I had internally was accurate and right,” said Dr. Jahangir. “Part of leadership is making tough decisions sometimes and having to deal with this repercussions, but I think is it comfortable to be attacked by people you don’t know, for things that you feel, you know, or be under control? No. Did I understand sometimes where that anger was coming from? Yes. And, again, much easier to say in the back end of it, but frankly, I get it.”
Dr. Jahangir hopes looking back will ultimately help us all to move forward.
“These were all things that I, just like everyone else, was going through. And I hope that by kind of outlining this and reminding people of what we went through, it will allow us on the back end, moving forward to maybe take some lessons learned, remember what we all experienced, and hopefully move forward in this community with empathy and with respect of what we’ve gone through together,” said Dr. Jahangir.
The book will be released in September, but it is available for pre-order now.