Blindness May 25, 2010
Without explanation, people start going blind. Their blindness is white, which makes it all the more puzzling. The government quickly reacts by quarantining the blind, and using armed soldiers to keep them locked away.
Once people go blind, they're no longer 'people' or 'citizens' - they're 'THE INFECTED'. They're not fed adequately, and not allowed any medicine or cleaning products. The government could sent in workers in biohazard suits to distribute food and basic supplies, and provide medical care, but the government doesn't care. They put soldiers at the gates to the building where the blind are housed, and instruct them to shoot at the slightest provocation.
Very quickly, society inside the quarantine facility breaks down. The blind break into factions, and fight each other over food, valuables, and women.
The blind don't know it at the time, but their breakdown inside the asylum mirrors what is happening in the streets outside, and of course, outside of the book as well.