The Plague, Camus, and hope

Overcoming absurdity during a pandemic

There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.Albert Camus eerily familiar tale of a town in plague lockdown can show us how to preserve hope amid the prolonged suffering of a pandemic. 

Albert Camus’ The Plague almost reads as a contemporary account. The denials and delays of public authorities in responding, the shortage of vital medical supplies, the overcrowding of hospitals—Camus saw it all with uncanny clarity. Moreover, he understood how pandemics can harm not just the body, but also the spirit.

One of the worst things about the plague is that it seems never-ending. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the point is significant. A night watchman says he wishes the city had been hit with an earthquake instead of the plague. “A good bad shock, and there you are! You count the dead and living, and that’s an end of it,” the watchman says. Earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides,

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