To get a sense of the broader damage a new pandemic might do, it helps to consider the one the world is currently enduring: HIV/AIDS. Because this deadly scourge moves slowly, many of its social, political, and economic effects have yet to be understood. But the impact is hard to overstate. And it is growing.
Laurie Garrett is Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. This essay partly results from meetings convened by the council in collaboration with the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS.