As I sit here feeling sorry for myself while self-isolating at home with Covid 19, I can’t tell you how grateful I feel to those involved in the vaccination roll-out.

The scientists, health workers and volunteers, I salute you.

Thankfully, my symptoms are mild. I feel a bit weak by late afternoon but if the worst I get is bouts of coughing, sneezing, feeling fuzzy round the edges and not being able to tell if the milk’s off because I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell, well, I say be thankful for small mercies.

It got me thinking about the good Dr Hilary’s Jones’ new novel, Frontline, the start of a sweeping, World War I drama which features the Spanish Flu epidemic.

Dr Hilary has been a calming, constant presence during the pandemic. He’s often described as the nation’s best-loved TV doctor, with his medical slot on Good Morning Britain attracting 1.3 million alone.

The good doctor is coming to BridLit on Thursday 11 November where he’ll be in conversation with Sally Laverack in the Bull Ballroom at 10am. Details here.

Could there be a more timely launch for a novel that looks set to spawn sequel after sequel? From such stories, bestselling television series are made.

The main character, Will, is a composite based on his grandfather, who served with the Westminster Rifles on the Western Front, and Dr Hilary’s GP eldest son, Tristan.

‘He’s got a lovely temperament. He is a wonderful character and is such a hero to me,’ he said in an interview with The Daily Express.

Dr Hilary found uncanny similarities writing about the war to end all wars and the current pandemic.

‘I hope readers will see we have been through worse,’ he told The Express.  ‘Through adversity can come hope, peace and joy. Catastrophes like this pandemic show us that we can work together and that we should be very grateful for the people who work on the frontline.

‘We should also try to be kind to other people. We should stop being so tribal. I think if we do that, the future is still bright.’