The Cardiologist at the Time of Coronavirus: A Perfect Storm

Claudio Rapezzi; Roberto Ferrari


Eur Heart J. 2020;41(13):1320-1322. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


"When leaving his surgery on the morning of 16 April, Dr Bernard Rieux felt something soft under his foot. It was a dead rat, lying in the middle of the landing": The Plague (La Peste) by Camus [1]

This is the beginning of one of the most famous novels of the 20th century (The Plague by Albert Camus). The rats quickly became two, three, tens, and then hundreds, accumulating inside buildings and on roads. People became unsettled, but then finally, the death of the rats stopped them. 'The town breathed' says Camus, but only briefly. Before long humans began falling ill and as the number of sick increased, the scenario became more ominous.

The novel (as is often the case with a true masterpiece) is strikingly contemporary, not only regarding the dynamic of the infection, but especially to the spectrum of psychological and anthropological consequences this has on the protagonists. Indeed, every epidemic has profound effects on the social fabric and the psychology of the individual that we should reflect upon.