One man’s incomplete search for the meaning of Covid-19

When his school shuttered its doors in March 2020, the University of Houston historian Robert Zaretsky also turned to what he knew: novels, histories, and essays about bygone plagues. He read again old books for new insight — works by Thucydides, Marcus Aurelius, Michel de Montaigne, Daniel Defoe, Albert Camus, and Mary Shelley. He also began volunteering in a local nursing home, delivering meal trays and hand-feeding impaired residents.