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Everything about SARS-CoV-2 seems unfair. It afflicts the poor worse than the rich, and Blacks more than whites. It also disrupts — and potentially derails — the lives of people in some generations more than others. There’s social and political dynamite in this inequity. One likely effect is to make several developed countries swerve left politically, toward some bowdlerized form of "socialism.”

The generational effects of COVID-19 may seem counterintuitive. Medically, the virus is most life-threatening to the so-called silent generation of people in their late 70s, 80s or 90s. But economically, the novel coronavirus has left these lives relatively unscathed. Their careers have been had, their retirement savings — if they had any — had already been turned into annuities. The Silents as a group are not the pandemic’s biggest economic losers.

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