How Will Coronavirus Affect Society?

Coronavirus

Coronavirus will rival 9/11 in being the most pivotal event this century (thus far of course). Even so, you don’t need me to tell you that disease is bad, nor that epidemics in the past were worse. As experts spar over whether the peak of the virus was last month or next month, and as presidents, governors and mayors across the world reopen their economies despite warnings from health officials, or outright deny the existence of the epidemic at all, it’s right to be wary. In such uncertain times, I had to consider whether the current epidemic could be responsibly compared to those of the past. Nobody needs to be told about the horrors of Black Death, and so my comparisons here could easily be construed as fear mongering or perhaps worse, making light of the epidemic by comparing it to those that are worse.

The History

Plague of Athens

A Crease in the Fabric of History

A medieval painting of the plague of Athens
A medieval painting of the plague of Athens
A Medieval Painting Depicting the Plague of Athens

The Antonine and Cyprian Plagues

A Legion-dary Plague

A Byzantine manuscript featuring Galens
A Byzantine manuscript featuring Galens
A Byzantine manuscript featuring Galens in the top left

Justinianic Plague

This Just In: Panic

The Black Death

Of all the plagues in history, this is far and away the worst. It represents one of the only times in all of human history where the global human population actually decreased. While the majority of deaths were in Europe, the effects were felt on a global scale. As I mentioned in my post on climate change, the death of the Europeans contributed to the downfall of the Vikings as they relied on mainland Europe for trade.

A drawing of a plague doctor’s attire
A drawing of a plague doctor’s attire
Depiction of a Plague Doctor’s attire.

Blind Speculation

Will things ever truly go back to normal after Covid-19 has been neutralized? Probably not, but how different will the other side look is up for debate. Some of the effects we’re seeing now may permanently manifest.

History and fiction lover. Graduated in 2017 with a BA in English, and I’ve been working in the tech sector since.

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