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Check out These Books About Pandemics While You're Self-Quarantined This Weekend

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Mar. 12 2020, Updated 4:22 p.m. ET

There's a pretty likely chance your social activity will be somewhat hindered this weekend due to the rampaging coronavirus, and although the thought of an uneventful weekend would generally spark tremendous anxiety for extroverts like myself, I'm somewhat excited to take a full two days to actually relax.

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Those who are spending the weekend in solitude will most likely be yearning for a little entertainment, and luckily, we've compiled an extensive list of books about pandemics. Fair warning, though — some of these are scarily relatable right now.

'The Andromeda Strain' by Michael Crichton

When a military space probe inadvertently brings extraterrestrial organisms from outer space, it spreads a deadly disease to a sleepy town in Arizona, leaving only two survivors: an elderly drug addict and a newborn baby. Meanwhile, a team of scientists attempt to find a cure, but there's only a matter of time. 

(Available on Amazon).

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'Hot Zone' by Richard Preston

A deadly and contagious virus spreads throughout Africa, and eventually surfaces in Washington D.C. It kills almost 90 percent of its victims without a cure, inspiring a secret military SWAT team and scientists to team up and stop the disease from spreading further. 

(Available on Amazon).

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'The Invisible Cure' by Helen Epstein

Documenting the AIDS pandemic from within an African village, this book recounts how the government intervened and international aid, from the view of Helen Epstein. Helen moved from the U.S. to Uganda, who did research to find an HIV vaccine. There, she explored the disease from the lenses of medicine, politics, economics, and sociology. 

(Available on Amazon).

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'Pandemic' by Sonia Shah

Sonia Shah explores where epidemics come from while looking at one of the world's most deadly pandemics: cholera. She simultaneously interweaves how its origins still affect humankind today while looking at its history.

(Available on Amazon).

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'Pale Rider' by Laura Spinney

In this narrative, the author explores the Spanish flu and how it traveled around the world, taking a toll on a long list major historical events, wars, politics, and families. She argues that it essentially created the "lost generation," while using historical research, virology, epidemiology, psychology, and economics. 

(Available on Amazon).

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'Station Eleven' by Emily St. John Mandel

Kirsten Raymonde witnesses Hollywood actor, Arthur Leander, suffer from a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That same night, the flu pandemic arrived, and she becomes a nomad, traveling around the world with a group of fellow actors and musicians. They strive to keep art alive, but at what cost? 

(Available on Amazon).

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'The Last Town on Earth' by Thomas Mullen

Commonwealth is a small west coast town that is home to many exploited workers, but the son of the town's founder, Philip Worthy, is comfortable there. However, when a world war breaks out and a deadly illness strikes surrounding towns, Commonwealth looks to quarantine itself, and Philip helps guard the border. Everything changes, though, when an ill soldier comes looking for help — together, they must decide what's best for the community.

(Available on Amazon).

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'Inferno' by Dan Brown

If you are a fan of Dan Brown's popular novels Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code, then you'll love his thriller centered around Robert Langdon and Zobrist, a geneticist who developed a new biological plague in the hopes of solving the world's overpopulation issue. 

Robert is joined by Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey, the director-general of the WHO, on his quest to stop the pandemic from getting into the world's water supply. 

(Available on Amazon)

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While these books probably won't bring you much in the way of comfort, they're guaranteed to provide you with some slightly realistic suspense. Stay safe out there, wash your hands, and happy reading! 

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