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< Back to question Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus? Show more Show less

Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

Science Fiction Show more Show less

Feels like we're living in it. Might as well read it.
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The Andromeda Strain

The story follows scientists trying to end a pandemic caused by an alien microorganism, which hits close to home.
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Proponents


The Argument

You should read The Andromeda Strain while self-isolating from the coronavirus because it shares similarities to current events. Readers will find that the story shares similarities to the pandemic that they are facing [1]. The book captures the possibilities of the outcome of the pandemic and how society should respond to the crisis. Underneath the fictional disease, the reader can recognize the human response and the dangers of overreacting in a crisis. People should also read The Andromeda Strain because it provides a realistic interpretation of government and scientist responses. Michael Crichton does not create a completely incompetent team of people to deal with the virus, nor does he fabricate a team that knows exactly how to deal with the virus. Crichton creates a realistic team of people that are flawed in nature. This reminds the reader to examine all the thoughts and actions surrounding the coronavirus to ensure that they are listening to valid information, understanding that there are still unknowns. The Andromeda Strain is also a great quarantine read because it reminds readers to distinguish fact from fiction. Although the pandemic has caused stress and anxiety throughout the world, the book reminds readers that there are still limits to the coronavirus. The Andromeda Strain is built upon the premise of an unknown bacteria from Mars coming to Earth and mutating beyond anyone’s control. The book reassures readers that even though they live in a pandemic, the nature of the coronavirus is much more predictable as more information is collected over time [2].

Counter arguments

This argument is based on the assumption that people want to dwell on the realities of the pandemic. This can lead to fear and apprehension about the future. Some readers would rather read books that do not focus on disease and pandemics. In addition, without being properly informed on diseases such as the coronavirus, the reader may not be able to distinguish between fact and fiction in the novel. This could lead to the reader becoming overwhelmed by the unknowns of the coronavirus.

Premises

[P1] Reading fiction that mirrors current events can provide insights and lessons through the form of a story. [P2] The Andromeda Strain is about a pandemic and the government’s and scientists’ response. [P3] People are currently living in a pandemic, which shares a similarity to The Andromeda Strain. [P4] People should read The Andromeda Strain while self-isolating for quarantine.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/some-andromeda-lessons-for-coronavirus-response
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0690-4

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 16 Jun 2020 at 00:46 UTC

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