It's been a rough few months for India, even by the standards of 2020. Its economy was slowing even before COVID became a household word. A controversial citizenship law provoked deadly unrest in India's largest cities.
Then, when coronavirus infections began to spike in early spring, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a lockdown that gave 1.3 billion Indians just four hours to find a place to shelter in place for 21 days. The resulting chaos inflicted even more damage on India's economy. Amid the chaos, massive crowds of people on the move across the country probably accelerated the spread of infection.