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U Of I Medical Student Writes Children’s Book About Pandemic

The cover of Anant Naik's new book, "Heroes of a Pandemic."

We hear countless stories about COVID-19 and the health workers fighting the disease on the front lines every day, but very few of those stories are geared toward children.

That inspired a University of Illinois medical student to write a children’s book, “Heroes of a Pandemic.”

Anant Naik with his children’s book, “Heroes of a Pandemic.” University of Illinois

Illinois Newsroom’s Brian Moline speaks with U of I medical student Anant Naik.

Anant Naik is a second-year student at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He says he wanted to find a way to help as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread.

“As a medical student, I have been surrounded by stories of heroism by doctors, nurses and many other people in this community,” Naik said. “As a medical student, I still wanted to contribute in some way to the effort, and so I turned to some hobbies that I developed over the years, which is (sic) art and writing.”

Naik says he wanted to write something specifically for children for several reasons.

“Generally, communication to children is something that I believe the medical community needs to work on,” Naik said. “Right now, there’s so much news about what’s going on out there. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. A lot of this news isn’t targeted toward kids. I think we needed some sort of way to communicate with younger children about what is going on in the world.”

Naik took a bit of a different path to medical school than most students.

“My training in undergrad was at the University of Minnesota where I studied biomedical engineering,” he said. “I led a few projects to bring clean water and clean food to people in Ethiopia and Guatemala with Engineers Without Borders. I decided I had a very strong interest in medicine after working with the Mayo Clinic and doing neuroscience research.”

Naik is donating all proceeds from the sale of his book to Doctors Without Borders. You can find more information, including where to purchase the book, at Naik’s website.

Follow Brian on Twitter @BMolineWILL.

Picture of Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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