Human beings tend to cling to convenient obliviousness – ‘I haven’t seen it, so it can’t really exist!’ – in spite of embarrassing, burgeoning bodies of evidence to the contrary. In order for this comfortable bliss of ignorance to be maintained, it follows that any flagging up of the problem will be met with denial: so naturally you get accusations of lying, or exaggeration. These aren’t always intentionally unkind – I think they’re often motivated by a horrified inability to accept the severity of the problem as by a deliberate attempt at dismissal. - Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism
This quote explains perfectly the ignoring of all the warning signs in The Plague, especially by Dr. Rieux and his colleagues. A stampeding immigration of thousands of infected, dying rats doesn’t raise an alarm, really?!