Chaos

What history tells us India will do next about COVID-19

“There are as many plagues as wars in history; yet plagues and wars take people equally by surprise,” Albert Camus wrote in The Plague, a 1947 existential novel about the disease sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran.

Yet there are no surprises in the fallout of plague and war alike—both unfailingly leave a trail of destruction, both human and economic. That said, it is the response to the situation, often by the state, that ultimately casts a long shadow, ever to be etched in public memory.

Image credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Plague epidemic  in  Bombay,  Hindu cremation ceremony. Photograph circa 1896/7, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0.

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