Till March 13th 2020, India’s government was assuring citizens that the coronavirus disease was not a health emergency. Preparations soon proved inadequate. Bigotry, superstition, and poor governance worsened an increasingly bad situation in which government efforts to suppress unfavorable news censored information that would have been useful in containing the disease. A lockdown imposed without warning crashed the economy and caused immense suffering to millions. Poor internal migrant workers were worst affected. Many died trying to walk home hundreds of miles away in the punishing heat of India’s summer. The lockdown was lifted with the COVID-19 curve heading sharply upward.