Virus Outbreak Britain Vaccine Test

Scientists across the globe are fast-tracking development of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 118 candidate vaccines in the works, the World Health Organization reports. Of those, eight are in clinical or human trials and 100 are not yet being tested on humans. (Oxford University Pool via AP)

During the Middle Ages, when a large portion of the population died of the bubonic plague, black death and other pandemics, survivors moved on to economic prosperity, as scarce labor demanded higher wages and lands passed on to fewer people.

In those days, however, there were no known cures for the maladies besetting humanity.

Today the current COVID-19 virus differs from pandemics of old because we seek cures now within grasp of modern medical science.

Some aspects of past pandemics remain, however, as a large segment of our society seeks to restore economic prosperity, even if it means death to many others.

Because COVID-19 affects the elderly and minorities disproportionately, to some extent the virus has become a generational and racial issue.

Younger and whiter folks want to get on with their lives, even if it means leaving others at greater risk.

A recent article in "The Atlantic" recounts how European settlers brought death to Native Americans when indigenous populations lacked immunity to diseases and died in large proportions, resulting in Europeans profiting.

The article quotes Cherokee Nation journalist Rebecca Nagle, who remarked about President Donald Trump’s travel ban, “I fully support banning travel from Europe to prevent the spread of infectious disease….I just think it’s 528 years too late.”

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