Book Blogger Lists 5 Reasons to Read The Plague Right Now!
Sarika Patkotwar tells you why you should this Albert Camus book right now
One of my favourite writers of all time, Albert Camus’ The Plague had been sitting on my shelf for a very long time. With the current Coronavirus epidemic, I thought now would be as good a time as any to finally get to the book. An amazing and raw read, here are five reasons why you should pick up this book in these crucial and trying times:
1. Reality check:
While we have all studied about some or the other epidemic(s) in our school history lessons, nothing could have prepared us for what we’re going through right now. With lockdowns imposed in practically all countries and their extensions being declared, The Plague will give you a reality check as to what you could expect from the current epidemic. Boring as it may be, history is basically there to help us prepare for the future by understanding the past. This book will help you realise that no matter what tags we put across our names, in the end of the day, we’re all essentially the same- we’re all humans and all lives matter. There are way more important things in life than what we think and when this is all over, hopefully, we’ll come out as better human beings above anything else.
2. Be prepared:
The most important lesson to learn from Camus’ book- from any of his books- is to be prepared for the worst. Here, it is necessary to note that this book is essentially dark and depressing. So, if you are not up for something like that, don’t pick it up right now. If, however, you love reading about history and drawing parallels between the past and the present, then trust me, this book will help you tremendously in being prepared both mentally and from the point of view of exactly where we’re headed from here. Read this book to get an idea about what it was like and what it might be and prepare yourself for what’s to come.
3. We’re all in this together:
The basis of Camus’ book is human suffering and death. When the bubonic plague hits the Algerian town of Oran, most citizens are indifferent and carry on with their normal lives assuming nothing will happen to them. The fact that we got to do what we got to do to keep ourselves and those around us safe is one we need to take seriously. If you are keeping yourself up to date with the current news, you must have noticed that if one person goes down, they take many other people with them. It is important to keep in mind that this is not about you or me, it’s about all of us and together, we can try to help flatten the curve.
4. Duty calls:
This is one fact that cannot be stressed hard enough. Doctor Rieux, the protagonist in Camus’ novel, is out there each and everyday taking care of his people. Whether it is journalists bringing us the latest updates, the police making sure no monkey business is going on, the cleaners keeping our homes and streets hygienic, vendors selling us essentials so we don’t starve, the doctors and nurses taking care of patients, these people are putting aside their near and dear ones- their own lives even- and doing their duties in the times of crisis. They are putting their own lives at risk, all for our safety. Compared to them, our duty is very easy- listen to your local health authorities and stay home.
5. It’s okay to not be okay:
If you look at Camus’ novel from a mental health perspective, it’s almost like looking into a mirror that reflects your own exact thoughts. Just take a couple of minutes to let these lines sink in:
And it was then that fear, and with fear serious reflection, began.
But, actually, it was a problem whether the change was in the atmosphere or in their hearts.
In these crucial and to be very honest, in any given times really, it is normal to go through a mental crisis. Although it might seem hard to believe, remember that there are people who care about you. Talk it out with whoever you’re comfortable talking to. You might not end up finding a solution, but at least you’ll feel lighter having said what’s on your mind.
If you end up reading this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so make sure you drop me a line. Happy reading!