The trolley problem is a thought experiment used in classrooms to weigh options and their consequences. One version of it goes like this. There is a runaway trolley on a railway track that has five people tied up ahead, unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are some distance away, next to a lever. If you pull it, the trolley will switch tracks. However, this side track also has someone on it who will get hit. Do you exercise that option, or not? And, what if a second look at the side track reveals a few others farther down the line behind that sole person—maybe even more than you spotted on the first track? While the complexity of a real situation cannot be reduced to a classroom puzzle, it is apparent that a lockdown that saves lives from covid-19 (a moral imperative) also endangers livelihoods and thus lives further along the way as it deprives more and more people of their means of survival. The curbs imposed on our economy by the government are due to be lifted gradually from Monday onwards. But the economic disruption has been so severe that buffers are now urgently needed to soften its impact on businesses and jobs. Without adequate fiscal stimulation, India’s output this year could contract and throw the country into turmoil.