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‘No one till now has written on the coronavirus against a cultural backdrop as vast as this—crossing centuries, continents and disciplines. This small book will outrun all the repetitive details of the pandemic with which we are being regularly bombarded’ ASHIS NANDY
‘Vinay Lal's 3-D analysis of the what and the why of the COVID experience, is a must read for grasping the finer lines of history, culture and literature invisibly woven into the global response to the pandemic’ GANESH DEVY
‘Lal writes with an ease that is a pleasure to read. This book shows how we can see ourselves in the crisis of COVID-19, in the mirrors of our common, shared but unfinished humanity’ SATENDRA NANDAN
There has never been anything like the Covid-19 pandemic in history. The world as we knew it has changed and the fury of Covid-19 has unleashed new forces, leaving us with an uncertain future. Though its fatality rate, in comparison with some previous epidemics such as the Black Death and the ‘Spanish flu’ of 1918-20, is strikingly low, and though it follows in the path of epidemics such as HIV, SARS, and Ebola, the coronavirus pandemic has produced outcomes which are altogether unprecedented. There is no other instance where the world was, over three months, brought to a standstill and the global economy shuttered. Most countries imposed a ‘lockdown’ and shut down their borders. In Italy and Spain, old people were left to die; in India, millions of migrants took to the road. In some countries rulers have assumed emergency powers. America, the world’s superpower, has been brought to its knees. The economic impact of the outbreak has been shattering; the environmental implications may yet be monumental. Investigating all these trends and the social, cultural, political, and philosophical aspects and implications of the pandemic, this book evaluates the fate of humankind and the earth in its wake.