I began reporting on COVID-19 when it was still a mysterious virus sickening thousands across the border in mainland China. When the virus spread to Hong Kong, I interviewed medical workers, wrote about the city's strict restrictions, and analyzed how the new work-from-home era had shattered long-held notions of typhoon days doubling as de facto holidays.
As COVID-19 disproportionately ravaged marginalized groups, the world was forced to confront deeply entrenched societal and racial inequalities. I wrote about the outbreak in Singapore's migrant worker dormitories and the discrimination against Africans in Guangdong, China, interviewing these communities that were bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
One feature I especially enjoyed working on involved speaking with the crew on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise in Japan in Feb. 2020. While cruise passengers ranted about their ill-fated vacation on social media, little was known about the crew—among them room attendants, cleaners and cooks—putting their health on the line. My feature provided a rare glimpse into life below deck, exposing the jarring divide between the luxury cruise passengers and the crew who labored on as usual.