Research associate Elliott Brennan is quoted in this article from the Lowy Institute's Interpreter about the best books to read during lockdown. He says Albert Camus' The Plague is worthy of a re-visit:
"I know this seems the plainest and most boring example, but for decades reviews and reflections on this work have focused on the allegorical aspects of the novel; whether the plague that besets Oran represents Nazism or authoritarianism more generally, and how they should be responded to.
These are obviously relevant to worrying trends in international affairs today, but what is so often lost when people talk about the novel is the wrenching and beautifully written personal stories it tells about the granular impacts of the plague. Camus intricately navigates the feelings isolation, love, pain, loss, boredom, guilt, hope and death that are inescapable during a quarantine. Interwoven within all of this is a message that the best way to fight the plague is with decency and appreciation for the suffering of others (just think toilet paper crisis...)
This gets to a side of Covid-19 we don’t see much of in the news at the moment, the personal. Deep worry about parents and grandparents, relatives and friends. Physical isolation from family abroad and so on. Where so many, including US President Donald Trump, seem only able to see the virus in its numerical mutations (stocks, number of infected, number of deaths), the message Camus delivers in The Plague is an important reminder that the virus and its effects are deeply individual as well as they are societal."