How past pandemics have paved the way for social transformation and progress

The Black Death (1346 – 1353) resulted in shortage of workers, and scarce labor eventually led to labor saving inventions like the printing press. It also flattened the extreme wealth inequality between landowners and workers, as after the death of millions, land became more abundant relative to labour, and land rents and interest rates fell, while wages for serfs and agricultural laborers improved. It also weakened the grip of the Catholic Church as an all-powerful institution prior to the pandemic, since religion and faith could not deter the spread of the plague.


Cholera (1817-1823) contributed to the development of modern sanitation systems, and the consequences of wealth inequality amongst countries, given its outbreak and transmission through contaminated food and water.


Influenza as WW1 ended (1918 – 1920) led to more women in the workforce, forever changing outmoded attitudes about whether it was appropriate for women to work, paving the way for gender equality. Post-pandemic, businesses were inspired to take more risks, leading to a boom in startups in America.


HIV/AIDS (1980s – present) led to the global LGBTQ community becoming more vocal and visible in unprecedented ways because of the outsized impact on this community. As it became a global epidemic without gender, ethnic, or sexual orientation bias, the public was forced to address its own homophobia and prejudice, encouraging issues of LGBTQ discrimination to come into the mainstream spotlight.


Tech-celeration refers to the accelerated technological adoption and innovation during a pandemic.
Industries that have already experienced tech-celeration due to the Covid pandemic: Vaccine development, drone technology, food delivery, E-learning. Watch how Covid has boosted innovation below: