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Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus?
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A Journal of the Plague Year

They say fashion comes in cycles. The fresh relevance of Daniel Defoe's classic requires no explanation.
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The Argument

People should read A Journal of the Plague Year while self-isolating because it explains the historical context of plagues and pandemics like the one the world is enduring. This novel assures people that there are things much worse than self-isolating and panic buying, like our ancestors' lack of medical expertise during periods of crisis. In this reminder of our more advanced medical knowledge, readers can find a more grateful attitude about their current situation. Daniel Defoe’s account is worth reading because it explores human behaviors during a plague. It shows readers that our generation is not the first to react to infectious disease with severe anxiety. Since it confirms that previous generations also experienced panic, this book offers validation to anxious readers. A Journal of the Plague Year is worth reading because the book's subject matter mirrors aspects of 2020's pandemic. The reader can compare their current situation with historical events, learning about societal behaviors in times of crisis. These responses are strikingly similar to our current reality and include stocking up on provisions, self-isolating in homes, banning public events, and restricting the hours of public spaces. Through reading about these similarities, readers can gain more insight into our society's current situation.

Counter arguments

This argument is based on the assumption that people find it comforting to read books that mirror their own circumstances. Other people will find it unnerving to read a book that reflects the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, some people prefer to use fiction and stories as a means of escape and distraction. If people desire to not think about the pandemic, they will not want to read Diary of the Plague Year.


[P1] It is comforting to read about a crisis of the past, it puts our current crisis in perspective. [P2] Diary of the Plague Year is based upon the bubonic plague in London and the human response to the plague. [P3] People should read Diary of the Plague Year in order to put the coronavirus in perspective.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020 at 03:25 UTC

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