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The Prospect editorial: The contagion effect

The lockdown, however necessary, will produce not only huge economic losses but deep social scars

By Tom Clark   May 2020

Photo: The cover of the May edition

As we were battling with going to press while locked out of the office, news came through that India’s 1.3bn citizens were also being locked down. That number is perhaps worth spelling out in digits—1,300,000,000—to underline the difference in scale with the 519 confirmed coronavirus cases and the mere 10 Indian deaths that had been reported when the lockdown kicked in.

That mismatch does not necessarily mean that Delhi has made a mistake. The terrifying consequences of exponential growth form the most fundamental lessons of epidemiology. By the time you read these words, the confirmed Indian caseload will—I’m sure—be…

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