Brief ReportPsychosocial Reactions to Plagues in the Cultural History of Medicine A Medical Humanities ApproachWigand, Moritz E. MD∗,†; Becker, Thomas MD†; Steger, Florian MD∗Author Information ∗Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University, Ulm †Department of Psychiatry II, Ulm University and BKH Günzburg, Günzburg, Germany. Send reprint requests to Moritz E. Wigand, MD, Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University, Parkstraße 11, D-89073 Ulm, Germany. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2020 - Volume 208 - Issue 6 - p 443-444 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001200 Buy Metrics Abstract The aim of this work is to elucidate psychosocial reactions to plagues by analyzing three landmark descriptions from different eras: Thucydides' description of the plague of Athens (430 bc) in The History of the Peloponnesian War, Giovanni Boccaccio's description of the plague in Florence (1348) in The Decameron, and Albert Camus' description in The Plague (1947). Using a narrative inquiry, we found psychosocial reactions to be complex and ambivalent and could discern several coping strategies. We propose that this knowledge can help psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.