A Look Into “The Plague” By Albert Camus during COVID-19

A Look Into “The Plague” By Albert Camus during COVID-19

Nikki Gomez, Staff Writer

“The Plague,” written by Albert Camus tells about an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in the French Algerian city of Oran in the 1940’s. While paranoia and hysteria overtake the population, the narrator recounts the stages of this epidemic. Reading this book is today’s time is probably relatable to readers now. Many could relate to the characters in the book as they are forced in quarantine during the lockdown of the city.

One month in Oran, thousands of rats die mysteriously, and soon, the authorities are holding mass cremations of the rats. One character falls mysteriously to an illness, and then a cluster of cases pop up, turning it into an epidemic in the city of Oran. For protective measures, the authorities enact measures to get the disease from spreading, and place the whole city under quarantine.

Camus’ novel focuses on human suffering and how the people viewed and dealt with the pandemic. The citizens of Oran are unaware of one another’s suffering because each person is convinced that their pain is unique compared to “common” suffering. They viewed it as a punishment for their sins from God, and didn’t view it as a common suffering. Instead of laying dormant and lying in fear, the people joined anti-plague efforts to fight against death. Similar to modern times, humanity is coming together to support each other during these tough times.

The Black Plague is considered one of the most deadly pandemics that occurred in human history. Thankfully, in modern times, we have the medicine and science to curate vaccines and cures for deadly diseases, unlike previous eras where their science was not as advanced, and not much was known.

During quarantine, reading the plague could provide comfort to those suffering during the lockdown. Despite how horrible the situation was, the people in the novel found hope and were able to beat the epidemic. In times like these, it’s better to find hope and help each other. It’s better to remember that everyone is on the same boat, and for now we have to push through this hard time to get through the end.