COVID-19

COVID-19

Issue Articles

How many casual workers in the cities have sought to go home?

There has been no count of the number of workers returning to their home states. An analysis of NSS data tells us that the first wave of returnees is likely to be mainly urban casual workers who lost their livelihoods and lived in insecure accommodation.

Psychosocial Challenges In the Midst of the Coronavirus

While trying to maintain our psychological equilibrium during a pandemic, we may well do so in a manner that facilitates the emergence of authoritarianism. But there can be hope too if we allow ourselves to be touched by an awareness of our vulnerabilities.

Beyond the Pandemic

Strategies for Reforming Governance
‘We need to address the basic structural issues of governance design if we are to be better prepared for future complex challenges. This is particularly necessary in managing disasters, but the broader process of policymaking too needs reform.’

Sweden’s ‘No Lockdown’ Strategy

A Senior Citizen’s Personal Experience
In dealing with Covid-19 Sweden has been unique for not shutting down the economy & enforcing a stay-at-home policy. This is a 'learning by doing' approach that has the broad support of all political parties & is in line with an old social democrat tradition.

Debt and Welfare In A World of Pandemics

Drastic times call for radical measures. Falling tax revenues call for an increase in borrowings by the central government to help states. A failure to do so now could have a negative impact on the revival of economic growth in the future.

Migrants Workers, the Lockdown and the Judiciary

The millions of migrants who have lost their livelihoods have a fundamental right to a life of dignity. The refusal of the Government of India to provide comprehensive support and the Supreme Court’s ruling on a petition seeking relief have left them adrift.

Manufacturing Epidemics

Pathogens, Poverty, and Public Health Crises in India
India's Covid-19 crisis is one effect of a decades-long process that has produced impoverishment, hunger, and ill-health, all at once. Its history of epidemics can offer insights into understanding the structural roots of its poor public health infrastructure.

Making Markets Work for Farmers During and After the Lockdown

The lockdown disrupted agricultural markets just when the rabi crop was harvested. To support farmers the states & the centre need to devise policies to expand procurement to cover more crops & small farmers. Support is needed for rabi & the kharif seasons.

‘The Government Will Come To Its Senses’

Calcutta’s Workers and the Plague of 1898
The plague of 1898 brought Calcutta's workers out into the streets to strike against low pay & forced inoculation. The disorders during the epidemic gave the working class their first opportunity to organise themselves & to build up the city’s labour movement.

Justice and Rights In Viral Contexts In India

There are dimensions of justice, human rights and constitutionalism that need to guide governments when there is a public health emergency as with Covid-19. The focus has to be on the right to health, empathy for the working poor and ethical state practice.

Past and Present

Can India Beat Corona the Way It Beat Smallpox?
The eradication of smallpox in India in the 1970s may throw light on the evolving corona strategies. The attempts, then & now, operate against the backdrop of a destitute landscape, & increasingly a bigoted one, where some lives are more expendable than others

The Twin Crises of Covid-19 and How to Resolve Them

The inter-dependence between public health & the economy in the Covid-19 crisis calls for solutions that address both together in the short & medium term. The long run demands a greater ecological balance in human activity if we are to prevent such pandemics.

Four Future Scenarios, or, What’s Different about the Covid-19 crisis?

What should we expect, post the coronavirus pandemic? Four scenarios contain four very different futures. A better world is only possible if social actors seize this opportunity to overcome the inequalities this crisis has laid bare.

Locking out the Working Poor

India's Inadequate Response to Covid-19's Economic Crisis
With more than three-quarters of India’s workforce either self-employed or in casual work, and earning low incomes, the lockdown was bound to devastate their livelihoods. Conditions were poor before the lockdown because of the slowdown. They have now worsened.

India’s Tryst With Covid-19

The lockdown will not eliminate the coronavirus. Instead it could harm the livelihood & health of many. We must repair broken lives with economic measures, use evidence-based strategies to slow the virus & strengthen hospital capacity to care for the very ill.

India's Lockdown

If the first option of dealing with Covid-19 by imposing a complete lockdown but accompanied by comprehensive State support is not possible, then we must think of alternatives. Here is an implementable option for India that would open a lifeline for the poor.

India Cannot Fight Coronavirus Without Taking Into Account its Class and Caste Divisions

The country must rethink its strategy of fighting Covid-19 by taking into account the lives, the work and the living conditions of the marginalised sections of the society.

Covid-19 in India

The Chronicle of a Pandemic Foretold
India could not have prevented the entry of Covid-19 but it could have responded better to the warning signs of January. If it had, it could have reduced the toll this disease will now take and the hasty imposition of the lockdown could have been avoided.

War metaphors used for COVID-19 are compelling but also dangerous

The use of war as a metaphor by politicians and media is appealing in a crisis like COVID-19. However, instead of a spirit of going into battle what we need now are a sense of civic duty, pan-national solidarity and a respect for fellow human beings.

Knowns and Unknowns in the Covid-triggered Global Economic Crisis

The traditional toolbox of fiscal and monetary measures will not help deal with the exogenous shock given by Covid-19 to the global economy. In these unknown waters for now the state can at best ramp up medical services and devise proper relief for the poor.
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