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Writer Searches for Reassurance During Pandemic

Stressed out by the overwhelming events caused by the coronavirus in her city, New York City resident Gabrielle Bellot has a thirst for reassurance that everything will turn out all right. Bellot attempts to find comfort and encouragement apart from God.

She writes, that literature on pandemics, such as The Plague by Albert Camus, is never mainly about the disease:

Instead, it examines how humans deal with disease, how our inner lives shift as our outer worlds do. It affirms how precarious our place on this planet is. We move, unceasingly, in a dance with Lady Death. Her … perfume of necropolis grass and old flowers always near. If our life is always a dance macabre, the question is simply when she will take our hand in hers, blue and black nails against our skin, and bring us … into the sunless place beyond our life’s ballroom. Death, plague literature reminds us, is always, always with us.

We are living in a world “that seems to hang on the edge of apocalypse, climate or virus-related” tragedies. She doesn’t know what lies ahead, but “plagues, after all, will always return, whether or not we are ready. I still don’t know if I am. ... The literature of disease reveals the ghostly ballet we live in, ever so close to the grave. But it shows, too, those surprising moments of joy, love, and beauty we can find during disasters, even just briefly.”

Possible Preaching Angles:

In desperate times people search for assurance, peace, and security. In spite of the best man can do with medicine, philosophy, and technology, true peace of mind is only found in a genuine relationship with God.


Gabrielle Bellot, “Why Do We Read Plague Stories?” Catapult Magazine (4-6-20)

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