Once the epidemic was diagnosed, the patient had to be evacuated forthwith. Then indeed began "abstraction" and a tussle with the family, who knew they would not se the sick main again until he was dead or cured. (2.2.69)
Then came the second phase of conflict, tears and pleadings—abstraction, in a word. In those fever-hot, nerve-ridden sickrooms crazy scenes took place. But the issue was always the same. The patient was removed. Then Rieux, too, could leave.
There followed objurgations, screams, batterings on the door, action by the police, and later armed force; the patient was taken by storm. Thus during the first few weeks Rieux was compelled to stay with the patient until the ambulance came. (2.2.70)
Yes, plagues, like abstraction, was monotonous; perhaps only one factor changed, and that was Rieux himself. Standing at the front of the statue of the Republic that evening, he felt it; all he was conscious of was a bleak indifference steadily gaining on him as he gazed at the door of the hotel Rambert had just entered. (2.2.73)