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Andreas Kluth

Social Unrest Is the Inevitable Legacy of the Covid Pandemic

Throughout history, plagues have caused upheaval and revolts. This pandemic will be no different.

A pandemic of lies, they say in Leipzig.

A pandemic of lies, they say in Leipzig.

Photographer: Omer Messinger/Getty Images Europe

“So when our Sickness, and our Poverty Had greater wants than we could well supply; Strict Orders did but more enrage our grief, And hinder in accomplishing relief.”

That’s how the British poet George Wither explained a spreading rebellion against social-distancing rules. Seeing quarantines and lockdowns as unfair and tyrannical punishments, people were taking to the streets. The year was 1625, the place was London, the disease was plague.