| Quote #19
Nobody as yet had really acknowledged to himself what the disease connoted. Most people were chiefly aware of what ruffled the normal tenor of their lives or affected their interests. (2.2.2)
The citizens at first view the plague selfishly. They are more interested in how it affects them personally than in how to fight against it for the good of the community.
| Quote #20
To begin with, the Prefect took measures controlling the traffic and the food-supply. Gasoline was rationed and restrictions were placed on the sale of foodstuffs. Reductions were ordered in the use of electricity. Only necessaries were brought by road or air to Oran. Thus the traffic thinned out progressively until hardly any private cars were on the roads; luxury shops closed overnight, and others began to put up "Sold Out" notices, while crowds of buyers stood waiting at their doors. (2.2.4)
The plague brings all kinds of loss, not just physical death.
| Quote #21
To tell the truth, there was much heavy drinking. One of the cafes had the brilliant idea of putting up a slogan: "The best protection against infection is a bottle of good wine." (2.2.7)
Fear of death is irrational, as are the common reactions to that fear.