India, March 24 -- Only a few weeks ago, we were talking about the persistent economic slowdown, the revenue shortfall in the Union Budget, and the jobs crisis. Now that the menacing winds of a pandemic rip across the world, literally shutting down entire countries, one almost feels nostalgic for yesterday, when all our troubles seemed so far away.

Phrases like "social multiplier" and "going viral" have taken more sinister undertones, to be replaced by social isolation and self-quarantine. These are no longer the luxury of the reclusive, but an enforced necessity for all.

While the direct public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and its resulting pressure on the health care system are all too visible, its econom...