Covid and policy interventions

27 SEP,2020 | MEDC


 

It is becoming increasingly clear that Covid is taking its worst toll on the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized. The economic burden resulting from both the disease and its public policy response – usually involving some kind of a lockdown, either total or partial – has most badly affected those least able to cope with it. Policymakers need to design rules of public behaviour that allow the economy to function, at least partly, while containing the virus. In normal conditions, the market would do this on its own, but today many externalities are at work which are thwarting a typical recovery. Under the circumstances, the government cannot be a passive bystander. An unprecedented global crisis reveals a lot about the composition of a society, not just on the surface but also much deeper down. The pandemic’s unequal burden could leave us with socioeconomic disparities unseen since well over a century. That would be a tragedy for the world, and especially for India

*Photo Credit: Google

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