Albert Camus 'The Plague'

Similarities to the current pandemic situation:

'People called for radical measures, accusing the authorities of inaction, and some families who had seaside homes were already talking about escaping to them.' (p15) Some people considering that they should look after themselves by vacating the town is familiar and is a selfish act.

'Pestilence is in fact very common, but we find it hard to believe in a pestilence when it descends on us. There have been as many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars always find people equally unprepared.' (p30) 

This idea that it was alien and had come from nowhere - we were not prepared even though there had been a planning exercise a few years ago.


'Why should they have thought about the plague, which negates the future, negates journeys and debate?  They considered themselves free and no one will ever be free as long as there is plague, pestilence and famine.' (p31) Everything has been put on hold and the lockdown has affected plans and jobs and futures which will have an impact long into the future.

Quotes with a visual aspect to the pandemic:

'The doctor recalled the plague of Constantinople which claimed ten thousand victims in one day. Ten thousand dead equals five times the audience in a large cinema.'(p31)

On one side of the glass was the cool, fresh sky of spring; on the other was the word that still resounded round the room: plague.' (p32)  The contrast here is recognisable the claustrophobia environment indoors as opposed to the unchanged benign 'outside'.

'Only the seas, beyond the dull chequerboard of houses, was evidence of all that is disturbing and forever restless in this world.' (p32) This echoes the idea that' everything is in motion, in process.

'In the boulevards in the centre there were none of the usual crowds. A few passers-by hurried towards their homes. None of them was smiling.' (p66) The emptiness of the streets people avoiding each other, grim.

'In the heat and the silence, everything became more important. For the first time, all of us became aware of the colours of the sky ...' (p86) During our lockdown people have become more aware of nature, the pace has slowed and people can notice their surroundings. The idea of the frenetic 'normal' unwinding and slowing down si something that we could play with.

'The plague sun extinguished all colours and drove away all joy.' (p87) This is the opposite of the quote above, a sense of anxiety that pervades the town. It is a visual idea that could be used - how to show an anxiety?