The Social Changes of the COVID Virus

March 18, 2020

My Dear Reader,

For all the advances that we have come across in the twentieth and twenty-first Centuries with regards to Medicine, apparently we still have not conquered the question of the plague. Perhaps we will always have to deal with the question of how to deal with the poor and the sick. Apparently, using them as leverage to levy attack  against your political opponents is what we’ll have to settle for in the time being. I’m not alleging any grand conspiracy, such as the Chinese manufactured the virus to crash the economy and somehow colluded with the DNC to do that. Nor am I going to subscribe to the belief that Trump dissolved the CDC’s pandemic unit, as this Washington Post article points out that is a lie. However I can reliably tell you that the plague has shaped us as human beings and will continue to move our cultures in the form of sweeping changes.

For instance, in the lake Medieval era, the Black Death wiped out nearly half of Europe’s population. This created great many social changes that were not realized until the 16th century Renaissance.  First and foremost because of the tremendous death that occurred, what laborers and peasants did survive we’re able to charge exorbitant fees for their labor because there simply wasn’t enough supply to keep up with the demand of rebuilding societies. And eventually over the next hundred years or so, it ended the feudalistic society. We can see this phenomenon affect countries for generations, for instance, the states of modern day Russia were not nearly as affected by the plague and therefore feudalism was still a structure of Russian Society until roughly the 1840s. 

The Black Death also weakened the power of the Catholic Church, because many of the rituals seemed to have no effect on the outcome of somebody’s life, and it led to a greater questioning of the fundamentals of medieval life. This led to the accelerated growth of medicine and also helped to eliminate the paganistic practice of alchemy in the pursuit of more modern medicine. Lastly the plague still touches us today in the old children’s rhyme Ring Around the Rosie. However even in a world lit only by fire and one in which much of the populace was illiterate, sensationalized media still made its way around. I’ve listed two figures here, which are medieval paintings of the traumatic events that were occurring throughout the land.

Similarly, after World War 1 and the horrors of trench warfare, Spanish Flu pandemic wiped another couple million off the face of the Earth. Inadvertently, this helped Western Society become much more accepting of women’s suffrage, this is because entire families, mostly the men in these families, had been killed by humans or nature. Socialist newspapers of the day sensationalized the plagues of the 20th century in order to further push their agenda and claim that capitalism had failed. It obviously wasn’t true and the rest of the 20th century is proof of that, but it’s not really any different from the media coverage you’re seeing today.

It’s my contention that there is political capital in ruining the economy and in using fear in order to paint president as someone who is incompetent. If you can point to a ruined economy and an incompetent leader, it’s much easier to sell to the American people the need to fire him. That’s as far as I’ll go in this article on politics but there is one other point I wanted to make. 

We have become a society that has not had to seriously grapple with the defense of Liberty. Our earliest Generations had to fight the British in 1812 and their sons liberated the American West from Colonial reach of the Mexican Government. And their sons fought for the abolition of slavery and the equal rights of all United States citizens, and in turn their sons fought for Cuban and Philippine freedom from the Spanish in the 1890s. In the twentieth century separate generations fought German Tyranny in World War 1 & 2 and their sons fought the Communists in Korea, Vietnam, and in countless other battles around the world. It’s because of their strength that we persevered towards worlds that would never know the horrors of dictatorship. So it’s mighty peculiar that at the first sight of Confrontation, where the media can gin up a frenzy over a flu that’s less deadly than falling down a flight of stairs, we’re willing to suspend elections and shut down the economy. I suppose this is a long way of asking, are we still willing to fight for freedom and the liberty of the individual?

If the answer is yes, then we need to hold our leaders accountable let them know that no matter how far they’ve climbed up the political ladder, in the end they are only in power through the consent of the governed. And I believe we should not waste too much time waiting for them to rediscover this fact. 

To your Creation and Potential,

Kevin Prendiville