Just over a hundred years ago, the Spanish Flu pandemic devastated many parts of the world. An estimated 100 million people died; India accounted for 15-18 million of them. It was the second wave that was deadly. So far, the official death toll in India due to Covid-19 is over 330,000, and one can reasonably assume that the figure is undercounted. But it is, for sure, still a long way from the Spanish Flu figures.
With Covid-19, we don’t know for certain how many waves and types there will be. But looking at the devastation already wrought, we must prepare for more waves even as we deal with this one. We should have been doing far better than we have with the second wave. The State must identify and initiate the requisite measures to meet the disaster as a national emergency. Most importantly, this national disaster demands that crisis managers be not overly rule-bound and needlessly procedural.