In this respect our townfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences. A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogey of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn't always pass away, and from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away...Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here. Read this tag to see all of them.
—Albert Camus, The Plague (1947), trans. Stewart Gilbert
Quoted in Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic (1987)