Then the Camus novel. So much of the initial description of Oran rings true with Fremont, where I live in the Bay Area, or many other of the surrounding suburbs. The town he describes "has a smug, placid air," ... "[o]ur citizens work hard, but solely with the object of getting rich. Their chief interest is in commerce." Not that this is so uncommon, as Camus notes, but he identifies other kinds of cities and towns, "where people have now and again an inkling of something different. In general, it doesn't change their lives. Still they have an intimation ... Oran [read Fremont], however, seems to be a town without intimations." And finally "all that was to be conveyed was the banality of the town's appearance and life in it ... Oran ends by seeming restful, and after a while, you go complacently to sleep there." Oran was around the same size as Fremont when Camus published "La peste" in 1947, around 220,000, so calling it a town reflects Camus' dissatisfaction with the city's stultifying provincialism, a feeling many would identify with Fremont, despite its ballyhooed multicultural demographic make-up, its pretty much just a large bedroom with attached bank accounts, a barrage of Teslas with personalized plates, mediocre restaurants (now empty - well those complying with the stay-at-home orders from our governor), and not one cultural institution of note. And now our own plague has cometh.