Doctors Explore Impact of Epidemics on Culture, From Black Death to AIDS

“Fear, loathing, terror, scapegoating, victim-blaming,” the shunning of “so-called undesirables:” these were the responses of Christians to their Jewish neighbors during the Black Death, the plague pandemic that killed at least a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century. The mindset returned in our own purportedly enlightened times, too, when the first signs of AIDS emerged in the early 1980s.