A catastrophe can shape the way a generation thinks, as can be testified by children who are born after a war, mothers who see their children fleeing poverty, and the millions of refugees in the world today. In the history of humanity, wars, pandemics and famines, as recurring phenomena, require an adequate understanding of their causes and consequences, otherwise there is a high risk of repeating mistakes, losing our way and becoming shipwrecked again.
In the specific case of pandemics, repercussions can be even more deleterious, because the culprit is not the aggressive neighbor or the absence of rain: the scourge is not just invisible, it is inside us. If it is difficult to cure it, it is even more difficult to understand. As an example of a pandemic, many history books cite the Black Death of 1348. But it should be emphasized that this type of calamity does not belong only to the reviled Middle Ages: it is enough to mention smallpox in the 16th century, cholera in the 19th or the so-called (improperly) Spanish Flu of a century ago.
Viruses and bacteria do not understand economics. Yet the hardest hit groups have always been the poor and those trying to help them. When the population was decimated, it produced demographic shifts, food shortages and price rises that altered the social order in a matter of months. Perhaps the area in which the impact was strongest was religious and existential.