Being Plagued


In a quest for meaning, NPR compares the Ebola epidemic to Albert Camus’s The Plague.

The Plague doesn’t have a happy ending, of course, though it’s not quite as hopeless as you might think. Initially, Dr. Rieux is a little resigned to the disease that’s threatening his city: “One hardly knows what a dead man is, after a while,” Camus writes. “And since a dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead, a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a puff of smoke in the imagination.”

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →