The humbling of India, the torment of India, is full of messages for the rest of us. Beware the second wave of the pandemic: that’s the one that has turned India’s boastful first round into a hellish reprise. India the pharmaceutical giant, and exporter of vaccines, claimed last winter to have “saved humanity” from COVID. Come spring, India is suddenly the epicenter of the virus. It’s run out of vaccines, also life-saving oxygen. And the new cases of COVID in India are running at 400,000 a day. The collapse of public healthcare could be the “Unmaking of India,” in one headline. It has broken the myth of a modern, privatizing, all-business India. Most of its vast population cannot get emergency help.Vaccination queue in India.
India, it’s been said, is “a noisier version of the United States.” You can pick up a bit of that noise right here this radio hour: the sound of suffering and dismay in COVID-stricken India — cases spiking straight up in a country that thought it had licked the virus for the world.
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