The other factor in the event of an apocalyptic event or global pandemic would likely be that people turn to religion, most probably in a fairly fundamentalist form. The demands that such a form makes on the individual may make it seem more powerful, more useful, in confronting the disaster. This, I think, is natural when man’s power to control has been overrun. The human being is, I believe, an innately spiritual creature; in times of crisis people often find support and solace from their religion. A belief in an after life makes grief and loss easier to bear.
Once religion becomes important in the wider society it inevitably becomes enmeshed in politics, for example the medieval Catholic church, or the Taleban in today’s Afghanistan. History is littered with examples where religion has been taken over to maintain power, cause war and persecute those who are ‘other’. History is also, usually rather less dramatically, filled with examples of people whose religion made them brave, kind, generous. The balance between the good and the bad effects of religion is dynamic and a continuous thread through recorded human history. No one religion has a monopoly on the good or the bad outcomes. There is no reason to suppose that in a turbulent future religion and its attendant vices and virtues would not play a part.