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Macy Mabry

Honestly, the readings this week hit close to home. As an “essential healthcare worker,” I am being put at risk everyday. This was my first reading of the “Masque of the Red Death” but it sent shivers down my spine. After a second reading, I noticed the parallels between Prince Prospero and those that deny the severity of COVID-19. Prospero holed up in his abbey and turned a blind eye to the red death that plagued the poor around his home. This short story is also an allegory for the inevitability of death that is always right around the corner for many of us. DeFoe’s work on the other hand did not have the same impact. It reminded me of the beginnings of the virus when we have since learned that our beloved president “had taken care to keep it as much from the knowledge of the public as possible.” What started as an isolated incident in China grew quickly to a pandemic as “the contagion despised all medicine; death raged in every corner; and had it gone on as it did then, a few weeks more would have cleared the town of all, and everything that had a soul.” I feel that both of these pieces were meant to educate about the negative aspects of diseases and to scare people into conforming to healthier practices. The same logic does not apply to modern times but the message still rings clear.