Imagine you are the president, king, governor, or other ruler of a particular area/group of people.
Now imagine you do something detestable in the sight of God. He tells you that punishment is coming, but you must choose between three options.
1 - 3 years of famine.
2 - 3 months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you.
3 - 3 days of the sword of the Lord - days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of the land and people.
What would you choose? Keep in mind this is punishment for something you did, carried out on the people you lead.
King David of Israel chose number 3. Good choice?