Transcript

The Virus That Shook The World

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Part 1

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Babe, you’re so handsome.

CLAIRE HU, Location producer:

[Speaking Mandarin] The British is making a cup of tea. [laughter]

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] I really like British tea. I like it a lot.

JAMES BLUEMEL, Producer:

Hey, you guys. Hi.

QIONGYAO XIE:

Hello!

JIE YANG:

Hello.

JAMES BLUEMEL:

Nice to see you.

CLAIRE HU:

[Speaking Mandarin] Could you please introduce yourselves?

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] You first, then me.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] We’re from Wuhan and live in Wuhan. My name is Qiongyao Xie. And you do yourself.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] My name is Jie Yang.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] I'm kind of a full-time food blogger.

If you don’t want to miss my updates, please click the little bell. Ding ding ding ding ding!

It took less than six months from our first chat to the wedding. We found a reliable fortune-teller and picked this date, which was the 19th of January. The 19th of January.

But there was this thing. The day after our wedding our best man, who was a cousin, he fainted at work. Fainted out of the blue. He was taken to the hospital for a check-up.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] While he was waiting he took a lot of really shocking pictures.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] At that time it was called an unidentified type of pneumonia. The news said everything was under control.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] Then on the night of the 22nd, I went to bed late, didn’t sleep until 1:30 or 2:00. Before we went to sleep, there weren’t any updates or any breaking news. But I woke up at 9 a.m. the next day to find we were in lockdown.

At 10:00 it was announced that nobody could leave.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Tonight, concern around the world over a mysterious strain of coronavirus.

MALE NEWSREADER:

A hundred and seventy people in Wuhan have been treated in hospital. Several are critically ill, and three deaths have been confirmed.

January 23, 2020

MALE NEWSREADER:

—roads closed, trains stopped.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Chinese authorities are saying that this new coronavirus is preventable and controllable.

MALE NEWSREADER:

A city of 11 million people effectively quarantined.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] The roses in the community garden are blooming. Extraordinarily gorgeous. And this is withered. When I have my own kids, I’ll bring them here every day. Hold on a second. Should this be sanitized? Never mind. Should be OK in this outfit. I won’t break it, right?

Actually, it was quite common for us to argue at home at that time. Every day it was about whether to go out, to film or not, and where to film. I said, “I don’t care, I won’t go no matter what. I won’t go, and you can’t go either.” But he really moved me by saying, “I want to show our son what happened to his parents.” So I was like, “Fine. I’ll be with you for whatever you want to do.”

[sings] Riding my beloved motorbike with no traffic jam today.

I don’t know the rest of the words.

This is the fourth day of lockdown in Wuhan.

Hi there. Do you have any masks?

FEMALE SHOPKEEPER:

[Speaking Mandarin] Our masks are out of stock.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] What about sanitizer?

FEMALE SHOPKEEPER:

[Speaking Mandarin] That’s gone, too.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] This is our food market, which is currently closed. We’ve been eating Chinese cabbage and carrots every day. I’m about to cry.

Hi there. Could you please tell me where you bought these vegetables?

WOMAN ON STREET:

[Speaking Mandarin] There are vegetables over there.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Has everyone given up on their image now? I’ve seen several people out in their pajamas. [laughs]

Look, there is some cai tai. Oh, my goodness! I’ll have two.

FEMALE SPEAKER 1:

[Speaking Mandarin] OK, let’s take temperatures.

FEMALE SPEAKER 2:

[Speaking Mandarin] And me, too. [laughter]

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] They started to take your temperature when you went in or out of a neighborhood because one symptom is a fever.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] It was actually before all the neighborhoods were closed. It was done before the household lockdown, and it didn’t last very long.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Like one day or two?

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] No, like a week. You need to say the time frame.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] It was between the lockdown of the city and when the neighborhoods locked down.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Wuhan's medics are locked in a daily battle against this epidemic.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The virus has spread to every region in China.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

There’s been 259 deaths so far.

MALE NEWSREADER:

In Wuhan, two large brand-new hospitals are being built in little more than a week.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] They were exclusively for coronavirus patients and medical staff.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] Sort of like a camp to treat and quarantine them.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] For some, they took over stadiums and other large venues in order to keep patients with mild symptoms together. Supplies and medical staff from all over the country began to arrive in Wuhan after a few days.

MEDICAL TEAM [in unison]:

[Speaking Mandarin] Our work has been smooth, and all is well. There is nothing to worry about. Keep going, Wuhan! Keep going, China!

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] I think during this epidemic the people of Wuhan behaved brilliantly. No matter what happens we always actively cooperate to help manage this epidemic.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] It was still controllable at that time, and we hoped everyone would follow our example.

GROUP:

[singing] Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Amie, happy birthday to you. [cheering]

LEAMINGTON SPA | ENGLAND

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

I didn’t realize that you actually used those boards. [laughs]

MALE VOICE:

Yeah.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Amazing! [laughs] That’s made my day.

I’m Amie Burbridge. I’m a mom. I grew up in Wolverhampton, and when I grew up I wanted to be a makeup artist. And somehow I ended up as a doctor.

Sometime in January we jokingly were talking about COVID, and it just didn’t seem real. It was thousands of miles away, so it was irrelevant to us, really.

BENTA AGOLA:

I first heard about it in January, but it wasn’t in Kenya. I knew it's a disease of the whites, the Western people.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] I thought, "Here we go again." There was an epidemic, a pandemic every so often.

BELINDA SPELL:

We didn’t think too much of it because it was in China. A long ways from us.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] This wasn’t a thing that would come to Iceland. We’re just on this tiny island in the middle of nowhere.

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

Then Italy started, and still you're like, "Poor Italians, poor Italians, they are really having it hard." Yeah, yeah. It's completely crazy. It's just really playing the ostrich, which put their head in the sand.

MALE PARAMEDIC:

[Speaking Italian] We’re on or way to our third COVID patient. Could you confirm whether your husband has had a fever in the past few days?

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

I have colleagues working in Italy. They were sending pictures. They were describing the patients they were seeing, the number of people dying, the number of people in intensive care units. And it still didn’t feel real. We were like, "It’s not going to be us." Yeah.

MILAN | ITALY

FEMALE VOICE:

[Speaking Italian] Hi, guys, I’m doing a voice message because I’m too messed up to write. Forgive me, but I have to let it out. [cries] I’m sorry, but I just can’t cope. I feel like I’m a terrible nurse and a terrible person. [cries] I don’t know. I just don’t know. There are people dying. And there’s nothing you can do, nothing anyone can do.

MALE DOCTOR:

[Speaking Italian] Are we ready? Listen to what he’s got in there. Go, go quickly.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

—the impact this virus is having on Italy.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The coronavirus outbreak—

MALE NEWSREADER:

The coronavirus continues to spread at speed. There are close to 90,000 cases worldwide. Crucially, the vast majority of new cases are outside China.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

I was getting scared by now, because we knew in early March that that would be us a few weeks down the line.

I remember my first individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19. And it was like, "Oh, my God, it's come. It's arrived." And it was a shock, that first case, because it was quite early on, actually. I can’t remember the exact date. We didn’t really know how to manage it, because nobody did it. There wasn’t any research; there wasn’t any evidence.

FEMALE NURSE:

Jess is in room 8.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Yep. Who else have we got for medics, just so's I'm on top of it? That’s it, isn’t it, then? Oh, thank you. OK. She is poorly, isn’t she?

A lot of the stuff we did in the early stages turned out to be wrong, some of the treatments that we tried, because we didn’t know.

I went from having an incredible conversation with a lovely, lovely, lovely individual, and within two hours, she’d been transferred to the intensive care unit, she was intubated, she was ventilated and she died. And I did absolutely nothing to help her apart from giving false hope to her and her family. "Oh, it’s absolutely fine. We’ll give you some oxygen, you’ll be fine." And she died. And that was my first patient who died. And I remember her hair, her makeup. I remember what she was wearing. I remember her name. I remember everything. I just felt like I was a bystander. And I felt like that in a lot of cases, because people just deteriorated quickly and died.

We need to keep you in hospital.

MALE PATIENT:

Yes.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

You have COVID-19.

MALE PATIENT:

Yes.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

You know you have coronavirus, so we need to keep you in hospital. We’ll just keep a close eye on you tonight. OK?

MALE PATIENT:

OK.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Can I have a listen to your chest?

MALE PATIENT:

Yes.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

OK, I'll put that down. You feel very hot.

March 16, 2020

MALE NEWSREADER:

Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The government acknowledges that millions of us may get COVID-19 because the virus can’t be stopped.

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON:

Now is the time for everyone to stop nonessential contact with others.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Spain declared a state of emergency on Saturday, placing the country in lockdown.

BARCELONA | SPAIN

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Spanish] I made this mask myself. [laughter] It’s a little bit scary.

PARIS | FRANCE

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

France is the latest country to take drastic measures to control the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON:

[Speaking French] I know I am asking everyone to stay at home.

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] No, it’s upside-down. It goes on the other way

ELLA DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Which way?

LOU DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Like that?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] You won’t manage it with the helmet.

MALE NEWSREADER:

A day of somber language.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Things are shutting down. The coronavirus pandemic is bringing life in the United States to a grinding halt.

NEW YORK | USA

DAN ROSSI:

My name is Dan Rossi. I live in New York, and I’m a vendor. We sell hot dogs in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We've been there about 13 years, but I’ve been in the business 40. Forty years.

We got hit hard. You go down New York City, you expect mobs. There was nobody. It was like a ghost town. People did what they had to do. But we got hit hard.

In that location, we are in front of the Met, it's basically a tourist destination, and the only thing these tourists want is a New York hot dog. And it can be pretty rough sometimes. You've got to really move sometimes, real fast. Everyone’s talking their different language, you don’t know what the hell anybody's saying, but they point to a picture and you give them a hot dog. It’s fun. It is. Yeah.

I said, "Well, in two months I’m in the red." I need maybe $2,000 or $3,000 a month to get us through. I’m going to borrow that money. I'm going to find someone and borrow the money. I know people. I’ll borrow the money.

I’ve been in some really tough situations in my life, and this just seemed like, if it's just money, we’ll get through it. It’s just money. And I’ll make sure everything is OK. Don’t panic, just—it'll play out, you’ll be all right.

So what do you want to do? What do you want to do?

I got—I'm married. I got four daughters. I got 14 grandchildren. My oldest grandson is 21 and my youngest granddaughter is 3 months old. That’s quite a mix.

Get out of here! Leave this kid alone.

That’s what makes me go to work, knowing that I have responsibilities.

FEMALE SPEAKER 1:

Yes! Vinny, yes!

FEMALE SPEAKER 2:

Keep your mouth closed. Keep your mouth closed!

DAN ROSSI:

I went ahead and I set up an area for weights and everything so my grandsons could work out. I mean, I think those few months were the hardest months of my life, just staying home, doing nothing. How can you do nothing every day? Anybody who retires has got to be crazy. How can you not work? I don’t get it. [laughs] It was pretty boring, I've got to tell you. [laughs]

I understand everything that's going on, and it’s the right thing to do. The distancing, to keep things closed, to open things up in portions. I understand all that. But it's still taking a very big impact.

FEMALE SPEAKER 1:

Yeah.

DAN ROSSI:

On everybody. And I’m not just talking about us. Sitting around every day, every day. I go downtown every day, I sit there for a few hours, and there's absolutely nothing going on. Nothing.

FEMALE SPEAKER 1:

It’s crazy.

DAN ROSSI:

This time, if it was a normal year—

FEMALE SPEAKER 1:

We’d be so busy.

DAN ROSSI:

—we'd be working. All right. God bless America.

BOGOTÁ | COLOMBIA

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] I was romantically linked with an Italian woman for more than six years. And talking on the phone, I realized this was for real, that this disease was taking people to their graves.

The mayor’s office, where I work, decided to declare a lockdown before we reached the peak of the pandemic. This was for a very specific reason. Colombia’s health system is precarious, flawed. Neither Bogotá nor any other city in the country has the hospital capacity to deal with what was headed our way with the pandemic.

I believe many were saved by the early lockdown. Of course, there was a price to pay for that. With the lockdown, obviously some can go home to watch Netflix and do yoga. In Bogotá, the elite can carry on living in lockdown for years. But in the poorer districts, the majority live hand-to-mouth.

They go out in search of food. And when you shut everything down, the clock starts ticking very quickly, because if they had to stay at home, what would they eat? How would they look after their children?

Are there many red rags in the area?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE:

[Speaking Spanish] Quite a lot. We had a look, and there are quite a lot.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] How many officers are there?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE:

[Speaking Spanish] Forty army and 25 police.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] The way the poor cried for help to the government took the shape of a symbol. And that symbol was the red rag. My job during this period became to assist and support as many people as we could reach.

Good morning, everyone. Thank you. If we do this properly, then 3,200 families can go to bed tonight with food in their bellies.

That’s when we saw a better side to all this.

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Spanish] Hey, they’re good dancers.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] A beautiful spirit of solidarity began to emerge. People came together in order to survive.

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Spanish] Where are our boys and girls? Kids, raise your hands! Which is the coolest flat?

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] I have a special responsibility here in Bogotá: to implement the peace agreements after five decades of armed conflict in Colombia.

MALE NEWSREADER:

—the Colombian army fighting the guerrillas on a growing number of fronts. The guerrillas and the drug cartels are shipping out cocaine and heroin at will.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] I work with victims, with former fighters. My job is to try and build peace in Bogotá.

Who am I? My name is Vladimir Rodríguez Valencia. Carlos Vladimir. My dad named me after Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.

Oh, my son is calling, wait. His first tooth fell out yesterday.

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Spanish] Will Pérez Mouse come?

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] Yes, first visit from Pérez.

VLADIMIR'S SON:

[Speaking Spanish] Hello, Daddy.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] Hello, Po.

VLADIMIR'S SON:

[Speaking Spanish] How are you?

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] Fine, having soup. So what happened?

VLADIMIR'S SON:

[Speaking Spanish] One of my teeth fell out.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[laughs] [Speaking Spanish] Did Pérez Mouse show up?

VLADIMIR'S SON:

[Speaking Spanish] Yes!

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] Wow, did he leave you all that?

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Spanish] He’s grown up so fast.

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] He’s 6 already. I love you, Pollis.

I made the decision to join the mayor’s office even though it meant I couldn’t live in the same city as my son. I don’t live with his mother, but we’re good friends. I promised him I’d never be away on his birthday. But this year I had to send his gift by mail. It infuriates me that COVID took that away, that it meant I wouldn’t see my son for months.

The thing is, I’m not working for peace just because I believe in it. It’s to build a better country and society for that kid. If the pandemic makes us see that as a society our priority is to take care of one another, then it will have all been worthwhile. And I can only hope that one day my son will understand that.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Coronavirus has reached every continent except Antarctica.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The number of infections worldwide: 400,000.

MALE NEWSREADER:

In Wuhan, which has been on lockdown for nearly two months, the quarantine rules have been slightly relaxed. If no new cases are reported for 14 days, the restrictions could be reduced further.

WUHAN | CHINA

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] It was a bit more under control and things were starting to improve. So we wanted to check it out.

I’m really craving chicken wings, fried chicken and stuff. But KFC and McDonald's are closed.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] There is a McDonald's over there.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Oh, yeah. Let’s see if that McDonald's is open. I want to buy something to eat. Guys, my cheer is back. McDonald’s is open! Happy. So happy!

Wuhan is getting better, little by little. Wuhan, keep going! China, keep going!

When we saw the situation in other countries after their outbreaks, we were really worried. Really worried. I was actually surprised by their reaction and how slowly they took precautions. The textbook is right here, and you don’t even want to take it? I just can’t figure it out. I really don’t know what they were thinking.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Belarus resisted the lockdown altogether. The country's football matches are still being played, and President Alexander Lukashenko has suggested vodka would help against the disease.

MINSK | BELARUS

PRESIDENT ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO:

[Speaking Russian] There are no viruses here. You haven’t noticed them flying around, have you?

VALERY KALANTEI:

[Singing in Belarusian] We don’t need you, coronavirus. Stay in your foreign lands.

[sings] We don’t fear—hey!—the coronavirus. You can’t make us stay at home.

Alexander Lukashenko said we shouldn’t close the country down. Kids went to school. Bars and restaurants were open. Stadiums, too. Go eat at a restaurant and bon appétit! So everything was the same.

[sings] We don’t fear—hey!—the coronavirus. You can’t make us stay at home.

RIO DE JANEIRO | BRAZIL

PRESIDENT JAIR BOLSONARO:

[Speaking Portuguese] Because of my history as an athlete, if I were infected by the virus, I wouldn’t need to worry. At the very worst, it would be like a little flu.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

It goes away. It’s going away.

Let’s see how it all works out, but I think it's going to work out fine.

You do certain things that you do when you have the flu. I mean, view this the same as the flu.

NEW YORK | USA

MALE NEWSREADER:

Meanwhile, in New York, they’re struggling to manage the sheer number of deaths.

VALERY KALANTEI:

[Singing] We don’t need no—

DONALD TRUMP:

Chinese virus.

VALERY KALANTEI:

[Singing] We don’t want now just to stay at home.

[Speaking Belarusian] For victory!

DAN ROSSI:

I did two tours in Vietnam. I enlisted when I was 17, right out of high school. Donald Trump was not the kind of guy who I would ever want to be leading me. He just doesn’t have it, you can just see it.

What we had to do was just say, "Let’s take a precaution and wear a mask." But his arrogance and stupidity, thinking that he was smarter than the doctors, that he's smarter than everyone, it’s just—he’s got a lot of people killed.

His thing was, "This virus is going to disappear, so why do I need a mask? You've got to be a clown to wear a mask; I’m a tough guy." It’s stupid. People are dying. What is the big deal about wearing a mask? What's the big deal?

Every day I would go down there, sometimes twice a day, and just check on the carts. What we would do is we kept the carts in the position where we work so that nobody takes my spot. And I do that a few nights a week, and then I have somebody else check on the nights that I’m not there. I’ll be sleeping there tonight, so—

No one’s going to help you. You’re on your own.

We had one year, it was a blizzard. We’re talking snow. And I did a $600 day in a blizzard, where people couldn’t even move, that’s how bad it was. Now there's zero.

March 26, 2020

BUENOS AIRES | ARGENTINA

ATHENS | GREECE

HAVANA | CUBA

MUMBAI | INDIA

CUENCA | SPAIN

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Good evening. It is 8 o’clock, and this is for Britain’s NHS workers, carers and everyone helping to fight this coronavirus pandemic.

LEAMINGTON SPA | ENGLAND

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Oh, is it started? [laughs] It’s amazing!

Do you know, I'd forgotten about that. Isn’t that crazy, that so much has happened? That every Thursday 8 p.m. "clap for carers." Yeah, yeah.

Lockdown was the right thing to do. And when it did happen, it was like, "This is what we need."

On your marks, get sets—

BOY:

Go!

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

But I knew everything was going to change. The children went to stay with their dad, because I was like, I can’t contact them. They can’t come to the house because the house is clearly riddled with COVID, and if they walk in they're going to get it and they're going to get sick. Just thinking about it now, the fact that I couldn’t hug my children, yeah, it was horrible.

What was incredible, everybody just did it. When we were meant to finish work, often we just hung around in the wellness of chatting, because we didn’t really want to go home, because a lot of us were going home to empty houses.

We’ve finished work, and we've decided to have a dance! Come on, guys!

[laughs] Oh, God! We laughed, we cried, and it just brought us together. And it was—it was magical. We even had disco lights. We really made it a big thing. [laughs] Everybody loves dancing.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The latest figures show that there’ve been 177 deaths.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Cases are now accelerating rapidly.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Three hundred and thirty-five people have died of coronavirus. That’s six times more than last week.

MALE NEWSREADER:

—5,373 people have died in hospital.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The U.K. could become the worst affected country in Europe.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Nobody should have to die alone. No one. That is not dignified; that is not humane. Yet that’s what was happening, every single day.

You’ve got some incredible people who've done incredible things and led incredible lives, and then they pass away and they’ve got me there, and it seems so unfair on them and their family. It’s cruel. It’s a bloody cruel disease. It’s just crap. It’s horrible. And—I—yeah.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] I don’t know how to make people understand just how serious this is. This isn’t the flu. This is something completely different.

My name is Árný. I was born and raised in the Westfjords, Iceland.

BOLUNGARVÍK | ICELAND

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] When the number of infected people in Iceland started to grow, I thought straight away about Mom. It would be very serious if the virus got into nursing homes. And we hoped to avoid this.

Mom watched the news regularly and she knew exactly what was going on. But she thought it was all nonsense. This wasn’t as serious as people said it was.

She was super tough and very stubborn and strong. My father passed away when I was a year and a half, in 1969. And somehow she managed to take care of us, raised us all, even though she was by herself and working at the factory. You weren’t supposed to take it easy since she worked so hard. And that’s the way it was, and that’s how it should be.

My mom was so tough, there was no way, no chance at all. This was just not going to happen to her. She was going to brush this off, like all the other hardships that came before. That’s what she’d say. “I will not catch this.”

But unfortunately, she did.

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] Here we are, hello.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] How are you doing today?

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] I am well. Here is Reynhildur. Reynhildur, can you see Árný?

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] Hi, Mom, how are you?

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] She is asking how you are doing.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] We weren’t allowed to drive west and go to her because they didn’t allow anyone from outside to enter the nursing home.

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] Can you see Árný, Reynhildur?

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] It’s good to see her. She’s not doing too bad. She just opened her eyes.

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] Did you see Árný? Reynhildur? Can you see Árný?

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] We’ll keep in touch.

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] We’ll call you back later today.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] OK. We'll speak again later.

FEMALE MEDICAL STAFF:

[Speaking Icelandic] All right, bye.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR [on video]:

[Speaking Icelandic] Great, all right.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] She was pretty much unconscious after that. We just have to hope that she died in peace. We just don’t know. She didn’t pass away quickly. She was very ill for a few days. She lay in her bed, alone in her room. Dying. She was completely alone.

This is completely unbelievable, that a virus travels all the way from somewhere in China all the way to the Westfjords, and into the nursing home where my mother lives. You just couldn’t, couldn’t understand what was going on.

We weren’t allowed to see her when she was in the coffin. She was put in this COVID bag. The bag is sealed and no one ever gets to see her again.

Only a few of us were allowed to attend the funeral. We had to sanitize thoroughly.

FEMALE PRIEST:

[Speaking Icelandic] Let’s take the gloves off.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] We were supposed to get her into the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s just—I don’t know if anyone can understand how that felt. It’s my mom. And I would have liked to have thanked her and said a proper goodbye and tell her how much I loved her and how much she gave us, because her life wasn’t the easiest. But that just wasn’t an option. That’s just the way it was.

But—the truth is, she didn’t get the send-off she deserved.

FEMALE PRIEST:

[Speaking Icelandic] Come comforter, comfort me. Come hand and dress the wounds. Come dew and soothe the soul. Come sun and dry the tears. Come my heart’s temple. Come holy example. Come light and light my way. Come life as life fades away. May you rest in peace in eternal life in the kingdom of God.

From the earth you came, to the earth you shall return. From earth you shall rise again.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The World Health Organization says that the number of coronavirus cases around the world is set to hit a million within the next few days.

ÁRNÝ SVAVARSDÓTTIR:

[Speaking Icelandic] So this is a little bit more serious than a normal flu.

April 7, 2020

MALE NEWSREADER:

Let's take a brief look at some of the other coronavirus developments around the world today. The prime minister is spending a second night in intensive care being treated for coronavirus. The U.S. state of New York is on the verge of overtaking Italy for confirmed cases. The Chinese city where COVID-19 first emerged, the city of Wuhan, has allowed people to leave the area for the first time since it went into lockdown in late January.

WUHAN | CHINA

MALE NEWSREADER:

After its initial faltering steps, China eventually hit this virus hard, shutting its whole economy down. And while there is some doubt about the detail of the official figures, it’s clear the government believes the trend is going in the right direction, which is why today we've seen the reopening of the city where this whole thing began.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Late last night my "boss" sent me a message telling me to get up early for work. Here is the boss. He’s waiting for the bus with me.

You talk about this one.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] No, you do it.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] But you remember it better.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] OK, I’ll talk about it.

The lockdown in Wuhan officially started on the 23rd of January, 2020, all the way until midnight of the 8th of April, 2020.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] Everyone was relieved. We were no longer left in limbo. It's finally over.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] Have you scanned?

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] There are more passengers than we thought, because we’re going back to work today.

MALE BUS ATTENDANT:

[Speaking Mandarin] Yeah, work starts today. Everyone’s going to work.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] The code-scanning system works like this: Once you scan the code, they know where you boarded and also get your test history.

SUBWAY ANNOUNCEMENT:

[Speaking Mandarin] Welcome to Line 4 of Wuhan underground. Please scan the barcode for registration.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] There is a barcode on every door, and a reminder to scan it before leaving.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] Having these precautions on public transport can effectively reduce the infected numbers to the lowest, controllable level.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] And allows you to live safe and sound with your families.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] The government in Wuhan decided to test everybody.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] In 19 days they tested almost 10 million people.

After you.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Mandarin] Thank you.

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] How many do you do every day?

FEMALE COVID TESTER:

[Speaking Mandarin] One person can do hundreds a day. Open wide.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] I know Western countries maybe attach greater importance to their privacy and human rights, but wouldn’t you prefer to make some compromises in order to stay alive? I want to live freely. On this land, I want to be free to—

QIONGYAO XIE:

[Speaking Mandarin] I want to breathe.

JIE YANG:

[Speaking Mandarin] —breathe.

BOGOTÁ | COLOMBIA

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] What COVID-19 did was reveal the kind of society we are. It showed the level of poverty and brought many things to the surface. The people’s anger. The lack of opportunities. The lack of trust toward institutions. Now, it’s all been intensified by COVID.

There are not enough food parcels to repair the inequality in Colombia. I understood the rage. It was inevitable. What’s strange is that there weren’t more riots.

BOY IN THE STREET:

[Speaking Spanish] My bags are empty. Look!

MALE PROTESTER:

[Speaking Spanish] If food isn’t distributed today, I’m sorry, but we will burn one of these buses. We’re going to go crazy because the people are hungry.

MALE POLICE OFFICER:

[Speaking Spanish] Attention. Using force in 10, 9, 8—

CARLOS VLADIMIR RODRÍGUEZ VALENCIA:

[Speaking Spanish] I have no idea where we go from here. But what’s clear is that after COVID this country is not going to be the same. What peace?

BELGRADE | SERBIA

SÃO PAULO | BRAZIL

BERLIN | GERMANY

PENNSYLVANIA | USA

FEMALE VOICE:

America, baby!

Part Two

The Great Divide

MADONNA [on Instagram]:

That’s the thing about COVID-19. It doesn’t care about how rich you are, how famous you are—

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Is that Madonna?

MADONNA [on Instagram]:

—how funny you are. It’s the great equalizer. And what's terrible about it is it's made us all equal in many ways. And what's wonderful about it is that it's made us all equal in many ways.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Girl, bye. [laughs] Like, what? I knew Madonna was out there already, but she’s—no, girl. It’s not the great equalizer. And then folks are like—they're shocked when other folks say, "Eat the rich." I mean, it’s stuff like that that makes them look pretty yummy. So— [laughs]

MALE VOICE:

We can beat the virus only through solidarity. It is time to leave no one behind.

March 16, 2020

DONALD TRUMP:

We are all in this together.

NEW YORK | USA

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

All right, guys, come on, let’s get back into it. And 1, 2, 3, 4, let's go. Come on, 1, 2—

So my name is Tanya Denise Fields, founder and executive director of the Black Feminist Project, Bronx-based activist and, yeah [laughs]. Do you want more than that, or— [laughs]

Five! Turn! Very good, Chris! Turn, 3, 4, 5—turn!

I have an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old; and then I have a 12-year-old and an 11-year-old; and then I have a 6-year-old and a 5-year-old.

Thomas, you see where everybody's going? Get on beat. Hop! Come on, come on!

By the third week of March I had pulled my children out of school, and then three days later, the whole country shut down.

Unless we absolutely have to, we are not going outside. And so it was just me and my partner and six children in this three-bedroom apartment in a five-story walk-up. And we were scared.

MOSCOW REGION | RUSSIA

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Guys, we’ve hit the jackpot! We found the hidden treasure.

I think that anyone who had a country house went there right away, because Moscow did become emptier.

It was a chance to be with your family for four months. I don’t think I’ve spent that much time with my wife in our entire marriage. [laughs] But there was no panicking!

BEIRUT | LEBANON

CAROL MANSOUR:

Actually, the first six weeks, I loved the lockdown. I was enjoying the streets of Beirut empty. It was amazing, actually. You could hear the birds. You could see cats all over. It was a city for cats all over Beirut.

I remember I would sit on the balcony at night and I would say, "Carol, maybe this is the last time you hear the silence." It was fantastic.

PARIS | FRANCE

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

[Speaking French] Is it filming?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

Yeah.

My name is Veronique De Viguerie. I’ve got two daughters: Lou, who is now 8 years old, and Ella, who is 6 years old. They hate my job.

JAMES BLUEMEL:

Why do they hate your job?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

Because I’m away too much. My little one will say when we are having a big cuddle before bedtime, "Do you prefer me and Lou, or do you prefer all of these kids that you're taking pictures of?" I try to involve them a bit, to—but no, it's not working very well.

You have a lot of people who will say, "Conflict photographer. You are just looking for your adrenaline dose, and you're just completely hooked with it." And—yeah, maybe, yes, part of it is true.

Some people are scared of death. Me, I’m more like, my biggest fear is not to live my life.

[Speaking French] Not like that. It goes on the other way.

ELLA DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Which way?

LOU DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Like that?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

We had a lockdown in all of France. And there is a bit of a panic. Benoit, the father of my kids, is the kind of guy who always think about the worst. So he's telling me, "It’s going to be kind of civil war." And I’m like, "Come on, calm down."

And then we have this friend, and she said, "That’s it for me. I'm taking my two daughters and I'm moving to my parents' house, which is one hour away from Paris. Do you want to come with me?"

And I’m like, "Well, I didn’t think really of that," and Benoit is like, "We should go. I think we should go. We have to go, but we have to go now. I'm leaving tonight with the girls. What do you want to do? Are you with us, or do you stay here?" And this is a big question. If I don’t go with them, I am a bad mother, and if I go with them, I'm a bad reporter. So—yeah, I chose to be a good reporter.

I went to say goodbye and I took the picture. It was helpful for me to have this camera to keep my tears up, because I didn't want my daughter to see me crying. I didn’t want them to see me crying or fragile.

At the beginning of lockdown I was just doing these kind of symbolic places to show the emptiness. Then I started to go more in the suburb of Paris, where people are a lot poorer. I went to a flat where there were like nine kids and two parents. The six sisters sleeping in the same bedroom on bunk beds. They are going to be locked down, the 11 of them, in this small flat.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

What is the password to this? What is that again?

Raising a family in the Bronx I imagine is not any different than raising a family anywhere else, and then it’s a crap ton different.

FEMALE VOICE:

One more set. One more set.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

There would be days that my children would not go outside.

FEMALE VOICE:

Take up plenty of space.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Like, I’m home-schooling now, I’m on my Laura Ingalls s--- [laughs]. Like some urban pandemic version of Little House on the Prairie.

I’ll let your teachers know that I’m going to let you take a nap for about two hours, OK? I’m going to leave that running so I can hear what they're working on.

FEMALE TEACHER [on video]:

If you want I can text you the information?

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Yes, that would be helpful.

Hunter come in the room and she be like, “Mom." I'll be like, "Yeah." She be like, “Is the coronavirus still out there? When the coronavirus going to leave?” The coronavirus to her is a person. Like it’s a burglar on the loose. [laughs]

MALE NEWSREADER:

New York, New York. The worst infected city in what's now the worst infected country.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Statistics show the poorest neighborhoods have been hit hardest.

MALE REPORTER:

How is it?

MALE MEDICAL STAFF:

Hell. Biblical. I kid you not. People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

When we talk about essential workers, it was like people in doctor's coats.

But essential workers also look like the people who clean up behind doctors, right? Essential workers are the folks who serve you your food at the McDonald's and the Burger Kings—those never closed.

Who’s doing that work? Those are folks who are classified as lower on the socioeconomic ladder, and those people live in the Bronx; those people live in very specific communities in Brooklyn; those people live in Jamaica, Queens.

Yeah, lockdown looked different.

DONALD TRUMP:

I’ve been watching that for the last week on television. Body bags all over. In hallways. I’ve been watching them bring in trailer trucks, freezer trucks—they're freezer trucks. Because they can’t handle the bodies, there’s so many of them. This is essentially in my community, in Queens! Queens, New York. I’ve seen things that I've never seen before. I mean, I've seen them, but I’ve seen them on television in faraway lands. I’ve never seen them in our country.

NAIROBI | KENYA

MALE ANNOUNCER:

I want to inform you that the minister of health has confirmed the first coronavirus case in Kenya.

March 31, 2020

MALE VOICE:

Allahu akbar.

MOURNERS [in unison]:

Allahu akbar.

KHADIJA ABDULAHI HUSSEIN:

[Speaking Swahili] Have you ever seen a child who’s extraordinary? Yasin. He’s funny. Even if you feel stressed, he’s lively and makes sure everyone in the house is laughing. Sometimes I’m tired, I have a headache. He’ll start acting, dancing and telling you stories. He is someone who likes to play, to draw, to dance. He helps everyone.

Now it’s like the gift I was given, someone came and took it away.

Yasin, your head! That’s it. The jacket’s off! It’s getting serious, Yasin.

Wherever we went he wanted videos of him taken. It’s like the child wanted the whole world to know him. He used to tell me when he grows up the whole world will know who he is; they’ll know who Yasin Hussein is. But I didn’t know it would be like this. I wanted them to know him as a grown man. I mean as a grown-up, with a family, and not dead. [cries]

BENTA AGOLA:

My name is Benta Agola. I live in Kibera, Nairobi.

I knew the life we were living, I knew very well the social distance, it wouldn't work for us. And life goes on.

Pass, pass. You have to excuse her to pass. Yes, pass, mama. Yes, pass. Yes, pass.

We were not ready to face the reality. Just saw death. We just saw death coming.

PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA:

There will be a daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the morning. These additional measures have been taken as a clear result of Kenyans failing to heed to advice.

BENTA AGOLA:

The curfew, it didn’t work for us, people living in the slums. I think all slum dwellers, the way the police look at us is like we are associated with crime, with gangs. When four policemen beat you up, it's so painful. And the police deal with us ruthlessly.

People lost so much. People lost so much. They even killed people. They killed people just to get them to their houses.

MALE VOICE 1:

[Speaking Swahili] Kill! Get out of here.

MALE VOICE 2:

[Speaking Swahili] Don’t let them go. They’ve killed someone.

BENTA AGOLA:

In fact, in Kibera, COVID didn’t kill as much compared to the police. Police did much killing. Yes.

KHADIJA ABDULAHI HUSSEIN:

[Speaking Swahili] Like a normal day, we were just at home. Yasin went upstairs. He told me, "Mama, I can hear noises, come here." We all followed him to the balcony. We could hear noises on the other side. People were screaming and there was a lot of noise. We saw policemen coming towards us. I saw the torch light shining on the wall. When I turned, I heard gunshots. I told them to get down, and Yasin was seated like this. He told me, "Mom, I've been hit." When Aisha raised his shirt, when I saw his belly, I felt I was dreaming. That’s when I saw my child had a hole in his stomach.

HUSSEIN MOYO:

[Speaking Swahili] My child didn’t die of corona. My child didn’t die of any of that. He was killed by a bullet, a police bullet. A Kenyan police officer from Huruma Police Station, that is who killed my child. Yasin Hussein Moyo. He was shot on March 30, and he died on March 31 at 3 a.m.

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Good day.

MOSCOW REGION | RUSSIA

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] My name is Ivan Vasiliev. I’m a ballet dancer and choreographer. I performed in "Spartacus" at the Bolshoi Theatre. Then it closed. So I got my wife and child and we went to our country house, where we could sit it out, in nature, and relax.

Theaters learned to go online and learned to advertise themselves on social media. So we made some videos. It was fun.

Some people have this need, an eternal thirst, for theater. I understand those people. They are drawn to theater, and of course they miss it.

I love giving people joy. I love giving them the ability to believe in something better and lighter. What else do we do? Hit the streets and protest? Why? For what? Cancel the coronavirus! Yeah, right! Who? Who do I ring to call off the virus?

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

A quarter of the world’s population is now living under some form of lockdown due to coronavirus. More than 3 billion people in almost 70 countries—

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The World Health Organization warns countries across the globe not to end the coronavirus lockdown too soon.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Make no mistake, we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.

MILAN | ITALY

MALE VOICE ON SMARTPHONE:

[Speaking Italian] Hello.

MATTEO DERAI:

[Speaking Italian] How’s it going?

FOSCA BALLARDINI:

[Speaking Italian] Here we are.

MATTEO DERAI:

[Speaking Italian] Good news. Tommy is now sitting up on his own, all by himself.

MAN ON SMARTPHONE:

[Speaking Italian] It’s such a shame. It’s a shame we can’t be there.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

In Spain, children aren’t allowed to leave the house at all, and concerns are mounting about the impact on children’s mental and physical health.

BARCELONA | SPAIN

CARMEN RODRIGUEZ VALLE:

[Speaking Spanish/Catalan] The little one is taking it very well.

CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ VALLE:

[Speaking Spanish/Catalan] I don’t agree.

CARMEN RODRIGUEZ VALLE:

[Speaking Spanish/Catalan] I think he’s taking it well.

CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ VALLE:

[Speaking Spanish/Catalan] Mauro has been playing in that corner by the window for four days. There, in that corner, by the window. He’s been playing there for four days. That's how it is, Babe.

PARIS | FRANCE

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Cuckoo! Do you know what I will to do to you? I will smother you with kisses, like this. You might not even be able to breathe, as I want to kiss you all over!

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER [on smartphone]:

Mama?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Yes, my love?

[Speaking English] So at this point it’s maybe like five weeks without seeing each other. My kids are OK, but Benoit is starting to get really, really annoyed. Basically, at the beginning he was like, "Please don’t come. You might be contaminated," and all that, but at some point he called me and he told me, "I don’t care if you are contaminated. Just come now, because I cannot take it anymore!"

LOU DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] We’re eating sweets!

MALE VOICE:

[Speaking French] All day long?

LOU DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Yes!

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

Suddenly, life is taking another rhythm. Now I am in the countryside. The only thing we have to do is home-schooling and getting the meal ready.

[Speaking French] Who’s going to cut a bit more thyme for me?

GIRLS:

[Speaking French] Me!

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

I have just to be there for my kids and adapt to this very slow motion. Just try to penetrate their world.

[Speaking French] Tomorrow is going to be a great day. Sleep well, girls.

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

[Speaking French] But I had a nightmare!

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] I know, but you’re not going to have any more.

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

[Speaking French] Can I tell you one word?

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Tomorrow, tomorrow. OK, one word.

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

Trump.

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] Trump? Really? What was he doing?

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

[Speaking French] He was being really mean.

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] But he’s always really mean, that one. OK, now stop dreaming about Trump.

VERONIQUE'S DAUGHTER:

[Speaking French] I didn’t do it on purpose.

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

[Speaking French] I know, but maybe dream about horses and fields and all that.

[Speaking English] One day Paris Match called me and say, "You ready for a job? In three or four days?" I’m like, "Yeah! OK, I'm ready." And then he's like, "Well, OK. You go to Brazil."

Brazil was all over the news as being the new epicenter of the epidemic. It did look like it was going to be massive in Brazil. Bolsonaro was completely pretending that it was not happening, making things worse.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

For the first time, the country's daily death toll reached 1,000 people.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Endless fresh graves for the dead, who also seem to never stop arriving.

MANAUS | BRAZIL

VERONIQUE DE VIGUERIE:

I was horrified. Everybody, presumably died of COVID, was in a kind of mass grave. And they don’t start the burial before there are five, otherwise it's not worth making the thing work. So they wait for five coffin, then they put the five coffin in the hole, five coffin. In two minutes, it’s done.

It was very shocking to me that the digger was not even stopping during the five minutes of little ceremony. It’s really like a factory or industrial burial, with one after the other.

And the chaos of these holes everywhere, and the machine digging, digging, digging, digging. There is no time to die even.

Going to the graveyard we passed through a protest, pro-Bolsonaro, which was—they were like, "Yeah, we don’t want to lock down! We are with you, Bolsonaro!" So they were basically denying completely the virus. It’s like if it is a disease, very dangerous for the poor and annoying for the not-so-poor.

MALE PROTESTER 1:

Hey, Chris? He still safe? Is he still safe?

FEMALE PROTESTER 1:

We're tired of them deciding if we're essential or not!

MALE PROTESTER 2:

Let freedom ring!

FEMALE PROTESTER 2:

There you go!

MALE PROTESTER 3:

Open LA!

MALE NEWSREADER:

These protesters were not interested in social distancing. As activists held their rally outside the state Capitol building here, many are openly dismissive of the science and increasingly seething at the economic costs that they are paying.

MALE PROTESTER 4:

I get tired of the media turning around and saying, "Hey, don’t you care about sick people and whatever?" It’s like, what are you talking about? Everybody here is well!

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Thousands descending on Michigan's Capitol in Lansing to protest the governor's current stay-at-home rules.

DONALD TRUMP:

These are people expressing their views. I see where they are, and I see the way they're working. They seem to be very responsible people to me.

CROWD [chanting]:

Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! Let us in!

May 25, 2020

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

May 25 becomes another date that will forever mark the spark of this incendiary social thing that we live in. I don’t really always know how to describe it, because I feel like as a Black person, you always know it’s there.

GEORGE FLOYD:

I can’t breathe, officer!

FEMALE VOICE:

Shut up!

GEORGE FLOYD:

They're going to kill me. They will kill me, man!

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

People all across this country watched a man have the life gleefully, gleefully choked out of him.

Was it heartbreaking? Absolutely. Was it surprising? No! This happens every day across this country. And finally, in this time, during a pandemic, Black folks said, "Enough is enough."

MALE PROTESTER 1:

I can’t breathe!

CROWD [chanting]:

I can’t breathe!

MALE PROTESTER 1:

I can’t breathe!

CROWD [chanting]:

I can’t breathe!

MALE PROTESTER 1:

I can’t breathe!

CROWD [chanting]:

I can’t breathe!

CROWD [chanting]:

George Floyd! George Floyd! George Floyd!

MALE PROTESTER 2:

No justice!

CROWD:

No peace!

MALE PROTESTER 2:

No racist!

CROWD:

Police!

MALE PROTESTER 2:

No justice!

CROWD:

No peace!

MALE POLICE OFFICER:

Back up!

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

I don’t think that Black Lives Matter would have had the traction had it not been for corona. They are inextricably linked.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The president’s tweet, an extraordinary line: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

When this president talks about "shithole countries," he is talking about us. We are the "shithole country." "Make America great again." Great again for who? Because it was never great for large groups of people.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, New York City:

I think I understand some piece of the anger you're feeling. I am still beseeching you: We are still all in this together.

POLICE [chanting]:

Move back! Move back! Move back!

MALE POLICE OFFICER:

Let's go!

MALE NYPD POLICE CAPTAIN:

No more tolerance. They have to be off the street. An 8 o'clock curfew. We gave them until 9 o'clock. This area's been hurt enough. Businesses here are suffering. The residents here have suffered. We’ve taken 60 arrests for violating the curfew. We're just not going to take it.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

In New York City there was all of these coordinated protests, and my daughter wanted to go. And she was going to go with her friends, and I was like, "Absolutely not!" That is like Ray Charles leading Stevie Wonder. I was like, "Girl, no." [laughs] Because the police had already been bugging, right? A curfew had kicked in. I was not going to allow my 17-year-old daughter to go out there by herself. And so I went with her, and we got our asses kicked!

Police have us surrounded right now. Police got us trapped, and we ain’t do nothing wrong. At about 7:45, they intentionally started cornering us. They have us pushed in, in a pen. We're peaceful protesting.

They are pushing us! They are pushing us!

FEMALE VOICE:

They're pushing us!

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Stay tight, stay tight!

MALE VOICE:

Hold on, hold on!

FEMALE VOICE:

Oh, my God! Oh, my God! [screams] Mommy! Mommy!

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Let me through with my daughter! Let me through with my daughter! Let me through with my daughter! Let me through with my daughter! Taylor!

I got pepper-sprayed. I got straight pepper-sprayed. My daughter got pepper-sprayed. Y’all, I done peed on myself. Do you understand how terrifying it is? Like, yo!

TAYLOR FIELDS:

Look at that bus! Half those people are teenagers. We were doing nothing!

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Taylor, you got to calm down, mama. You got to calm down. You got to calm down, mama. It's all right. They're not letting us go that way.

Here they go, here they go. Coming. Look, look! Look. Go, go, go, go! Go! Go, go, go, go! Go this way. Let’s go, let’s go, let's go. Right, stop right here.

TAYLOR FIELDS:

Look, did you guys see that? Did you guys see that?

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

Taylor, you got to calm down. We—you cannot bring attention to yourself. Now we over here by ourselves. You got to shut up.

This is terrifying. Here, baby, drink that water. Drink that water. It is terrifying.

You had able-bodied, armed white people in front of courthouses, threatening law enforcement for their right to be able to get a haircut. The same people that they wanted a haircut from were now in the street, unarmed, asking, demanding that cops and white folks stop killing them. Do you see how different it is to be white and Black in this country?

BEIRUT | LEBANON

CAROL MANSOUR:

My name is Carol Mansour. I'm a filmmaker. I like to document anything that's happening around me. Not only empty streets, but interactions and things happening.

[Speaking Arabic] Good morning! I’d like coffee.

MALE SHOPKEEPER:

[Speaking Arabic] Coming up.

CAROL MANSOUR:

It’s important to document. It’s important to know what we went through, what people went through.

GIRL:

[Speaking Arabic] Can you come here?

CAROL MANSOUR:

[Speaking Arabic] No, because you might give me something.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Arabic] The problem is that I’m still going to work, so we don’t want to pass something on to Grandma and Grandpa.

CAROL MANSOUR:

In Lebanon, we were at a state where, pandemic or not, it was s-----. Before COVID, the country was falling apart.

MALE PROTEST LEADER [chanting]:

[Speaking Arabic] The people want the fall of the regime! The people want the fall of the regime!

CROWD [chanting]:

[Speaking Arabic] The people want the fall of the regime!

CAROL MANSOUR:

You see the corruption. You know about it, and it just drives you mad.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The protesters are angry. They see hard lives stretching before them while political elites keep the power and the money.

CAROL MANSOUR:

The pandemic accelerated the country going downfall.

MALE NEWSREADER:

There are financial crises now all over the world. Jobs gone, livelihoods lost. But here in Lebanon it is on a different level.

CAROL MANSOUR:

We have shortage of electricity. We have shortage of water. Everything, everything—we have absolutely nothing. Nobody gives a s--- about us, about the people. And then, to top it all up, we had this explosion on the 4th of August, so—

August 4, 2020

FEMALE VOICE:

Babe!

MALE VOICE:

I’m good, I’m good!

FEMALE VOICE:

What is it?

MALE VOICE:

I’m here!

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The government says the blast was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse at the port.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The governor of the city estimates that 300,000 people have been left without a place to live.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Arabic] No one will help us. This is a country with no jobs. Our homes are gone. On top of having no jobs, they also destroyed our homes. This blast just topped it all off.

CAROL MANSOUR:

[Speaking Arabic] You’re angry about something, right?

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Arabic] No, I’m not angry, but I’m disturbed. You’ll find everyone is. They’re even ready to beg on the street. There were injured people on the ground at the port, who no one rescued.

CAROL MANSOUR:

[Speaking Arabic] Is that why you’re angry?

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Arabic] That’s right. It’s an ugly mistake.

CAROL MANSOUR:

Right now, honestly, when you walk on the streets here, you don’t feel that there is a pandemic, because people are so worried about so many other things. Eating, getting money, living, sleeping. So COVID is in the back of their minds. COVID is almost inexistent.

PETERSBURG | RUSSIA

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] It’s time to go back, to normal life, a nervous life. Not a leisurely life in the country, where there are no worries, where you’re surrounded by nature and fresh air. As long as we’ve got somewhere to get away to, just in case. [laughs]

Everyone was missing something. The audience was missing the performers. The performers were missing their audience. The theater was missing the people. The orchestra pit was missing the orchestra. The conductor’s podium was missing the conductor. We were all missing, longing for something. But we’re moving on now. It’s going to be OK. We’ll make it through! [laughs]

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Russian] Hello.

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Hi.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Russian] Why aren’t you wearing a mask?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] I’m afraid I can’t dance in a mask.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Russian] Everyone says that you had—

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] No, I had bronchitis.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Russian] Bronchitis?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] I’m healthy now. That’s the important part.

FEMALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Russian] That is important, Ivan.

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Most important.

My head is spinning.

FEMALE DANCER 1:

[Speaking Russian] Really?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Of course. I was out for more than 10 days and now I’ve got to dance.

FEMALE DANCER 1:

[Speaking Russian] Was it nothing, or was it coronavirus?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Maybe.

FEMALE DANCER 1:

[Speaking Russian] Was it corona?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] It makes you sick all over. Completely!

FEMALE DANCER 1:

[Speaking Russian] But did you have corona?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] You don’t need to know that. We’ll get closed down.

FEMALE DANCER 1:

[Speaking Russian] Oh, but how come?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] You want to have work or not? Think with your head! [laughter] Everyone has "bronchitis" right now.

FEMALE DANCER 2:

[Speaking Russian] How is your health?

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] It’s fine. I’m alive and well. It’s good now.

MALE THEATER ANNOUNCER:

Ladies and gentlemen, the performance will start in two minutes. Please wear a mask in the theater. Thank you.

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] Art has always brought people together, because in art, everyone is equal. The audience needs a ray of sunshine.

TANYA DENISE FIELDS:

We cannot continue to exist in the way that we have, but I do believe that it's going to get better. I do believe that, at least for my grandchildren, that we’re going to get through whatever the muck and the mire and the foolishness is so that my little grandbabies, whether I'm here to see it or not, are going to be better off than I was in this lifetime.

HUSSEIN MOYO:

[Speaking Swahili] You see how well it’s come out?

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Swahili] It’s good.

HUSSEIN MOYO:

[Speaking Swahili] This is the road he and his friends used. And when the school opens, they’ll see him here. They’ll come here. [cries]

DONALD TRUMP:

We are all in this together.

Part 2

PASTOR TONY SPELL:

My name's Pastor Tony Spell.

TONY SPELL:

Many people ask, "Why won't you come sit down in a studio with us and talk?" or "Why won’t you travel?" And at any given time my flock deserves access to their pastor, and I’m called upon on all hours of the day and night to minister to my church, and that is my conviction.

BATON ROUGE | USA

GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS, D-Louisiana:

Today I’m issuing a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Louisiana.

March 22, 2020

JOHN BEL EDWARDS:

My order limits public gatherings to no more than 10 people, and I know that all of this may be overwhelming for some of you to hear—

TONY SPELL:

—to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God! You want to handcuff me? Come on, bring it on! I'd rather die fighting like an [unintelligible] than I had live like a coward!

We will comply when they sell popsicles in hell and set up an ice skating rink in the lake of fire. We will never comply with an order that says to close the church.

BELINDA SPELL:

So I baked the cakes earlier. This is homemade carrot cake. You got to be good for a cake to come out of a pan like this. We're going to have coffee and carrot cake after Bible study tonight.

My name is Belinda Spell. My father is the Bishop B.A. Spell, who actually founded the church in 1959. Pastor Tony Spell is my nephew.

TONY SPELL:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!

BELINDA SPELL:

I knew that our pastor was going to disobey the governor's order. It’s not something he told me, but I knew it.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Pastor Tony Spell is charged with six counts of disobeying government power.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Spell continued to defy the governor's orders to stay at home and social distance for several weeks now.

ROGER CORCORAN, Chief of Police, Central, LA:

Parishioners are going to his services. They're not practicing the six-foot rule.

TONY SPELL:

The church is the hospital for the soul and the spirit of man. We are not posing any more threat than people who are at Walmart by the hundreds right now.

When I heard about the virus, I knew right off this is a politically motivated hoax. Not the virus—the virus is real—but the hype. When I saw the images of the temporary hospitals and morgues in New York, I knew right off the bat that this was propagandism by the mainstream media. They have to make it look like our president was doing a terrible job in his response to the virus, and this is why all these people are dying.

Twenty-three and eight; 23 and eight in your old Scofield Bibles. God didn’t mean for you to be far away from your brother and your sister.

BELINDA SPELL:

When I first heard that the governor was ordering the churches to close down, I thought, well, that’s insane, because that’s all I knew was church. Churches will never stop having church; people will always go to church. And then real quickly we saw churches did stop.

MALE NEWSREADER:

This is one of the holiest weeks of the year for Christians and Jews around the world. Today is Palm Sunday, marking the start of Easter week, and Passover begins at sundown on Wednesday. But to celebrate during this reality of social distancing, so many people are turning to online services.

LONDON | UK

May 11, 2020

ABU MUMIN:

Hello, brother. How are you? What’s the name of this mosque? Harrow Mosque?

MALE SPEAKER:

Harrow Mosque, yes.

ABU MUMIN:

Harrow Mosque. OK.

They say that the risks are limited after somebody dies, but we don’t take any chances.

My name is Abu Mumin. I live in East London. By profession I’m a social worker. I’m somebody who—I don’t do very well, I’ll be very honest, I don’t do very well when it comes to end-of-life and burial work. I just can’t handle the intensity. But then I remind myself that we need to help those most in need, in their hour of need.

In normal circumstances you are able to go, take part in the ritual washing, see your loved one, say your goodbyes. With COVID-19 you just couldn’t do any of that. Many families haven’t had a proper closure.

MALE NEWSREADER:

There does appear to be a disproportionate impact of the virus upon BME communities.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Figures suggest that a third of patients who are critically ill in hospital are of nonwhite ethnicity.

ABU MUMIN:

Where I am from, Newham, Newham had one of the highest, if not the highest, COVID cases in the country. I was really worried.

MALE NEWSREADER:

COVID-19 has preyed on Newham like nowhere else, a mixture of deprivation and ethnicity allowing the disease to exploit the area's mainly Black and Asian population.

ABU MUMIN:

Shall we start getting ready?

Some families didn’t have the means to pay for their burial, and this is what we did, we offered that service. We're a small charity. Within the first two months of COVID, the number of burials that we did, we surpassed what we'd normally do in a whole year.

MALE LEAD MOURNER:

Allahu akbar!

ABU MUMIN:

There's a young father who's had a 6-year-old child and leave behind a widow.

MALE SPEAKER:

More brothers, please.

SHEOULI KHATUN:

My name is Mussamad Sheouli Khatun. My husband’s name is Mohammad Tazul Islam Kabiraz.

MALE SPEAKER:

Remove the coffin now, brothers. Sorry.

SHEOULI KHATUN:

He was a very kind, good man.

ABU MUMIN:

Be careful.

JAMES BLUEMEL:

How old was your husband, Sheouli?

SHEOULI KHATUN:

Fifty-one years old. Fifty-one years.

ABU MUMIN:

When her husband passed away, she was alone. She was a housewife. In many of the cases that we've dealt with, the main breadwinner died of COVID-19.

DELHI | INDIA

PRAKASH BHAT:

[Speaking Hindi] At one point, we artists were homeless. Then, just as our earning season had started, this pandemic began.

[singing] Let me present to you a song about the corona pandemic. Because our life is full of tears, we are imprisoned inside our own homes. Outside is corona.

My name is Prakash Bhat. I am from Rajasthan. I am a professional puppeteer and singer.

[singing] Keep the two-meter distance from others. Wear a mask and sing along.

When we first heard about "lockdown" we didn’t even know what it meant. I told my kids it would only last a few days. We’d have enough food at home. But when we realized that the lockdown was indefinite, it got stressful. I’m 60, I have four kids. How will I feed everyone? We poor are at the mercy of the Almighty now.

Even during the lockdown, I went to the shrine on foot, treading carefully to avoid the watchful eyes of the police.

TONY SPELL:

With our stance came 24 hours a day, seven day a week surveillance. They want to see everybody that comes into my church so when somebody gets sick with this virus and dies, they're going to use it against me.

JEFFREY S. WITTENBRINK:

My name is Jeff Wittenbrink. I’m an attorney here in Baton Rouge. I’ve been practicing for 33 years this year.

When I went out there to his home, the pastor pointed out where all the cameras were located. And then while I was there, the pastor’s wife said, “Look, there’s a vehicle there right now. They're watching us.”

MALE VOICE:

We have our rights, too! Y’all need to shut that church down!

BELINDA SPELL:

We had a couple of protesters out in the front of our church. So—and it got ugly.

TONY SPELL:

They would grab their crotches, use four-letter words. Stand in front of people’s vehicles. So I approached one of those protesters.

JEFFREY S. WITTENBRINK:

He sees them there and he decides he’s going to back up and get out and go talk to this person.

So he backs up the bus to go talk to him, and they use that scene to charge him with aggravated assault—that he's using his vehicle as a weapon. It was crazy. Just a crazy charge.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Pastor Tony Spell planned a news conference Tuesday morning. As he approached reporters, Central police officers approached him.

MALE NEWSREADER:

A Louisiana pastor who has ignored limits on church gatherings is now facing a lot of legal trouble. Pastor Tony Spell arrested today for reportedly trying to hit a protester with a bus.

BELINDA SPELL:

Watching our pastor get arrested was hurtful. It hurt really bad, because you know his heart, and I get emotional just talking about it. But you know his heart, and you know how much he does for people.

ROGER CORCORAN:

We urge people not to go to the church, just for safety reasons, because of health reasons. He’s already had one of his parishioners pass away.

BELINDA SPELL:

We all went down to the prison and paid his bail and got him out, and he kept going. He has no fear. He didn’t let it stop him. He didn’t say, “OK, now, wow, I got arrested, now I might go to prison. OK, I’m going to do what you say to do.” No. I think it drove him even more.

TONY SPELL:

I will not give up my rights to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will see you in church tonight at 7:30, where I’m going to preach.

FEMALE VOICE:

Hallelujah!

TONY SPELL:

A large group of men walked to the front door of my house and ushered me from the front door of my house to my church pulpit. And they dared the law enforcement to come and take me. So the law enforcement not only would have had to take me, they would have had to take every man in my church with me.

June 23, 2020

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON:

From the 4th of July your household will be able to meet with one other household at a time, including staying over. Opening up more of Britain in this COVID-secure way is only possible if everyone continues to stay alert to the risks of coronavirus. And this obviously requires everyone to act responsibly, which I have no doubt they will do. I want to stress you should remain socially distant from anyone outside your household.

UNITED KINGDOM

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

The government’s chief medical adviser has warned against large gatherings in hot weather after half a million people flocked to beaches in Bournemouth today. A major incident was declared in Bournemouth on what’s been the hottest day of the year.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

There was a level of understanding from me that completely got why people wanted to do that. Children needed to get out, we needed to get out, enjoy some sunshine, and we were being told to go out and enjoy ourselves.

MALE NEWSREADER:

We're trying to bring back the things that make life worth living.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The headline grabber: an “eat out to help out” discount. This 50% off bills in restaurants, cafes and pubs, up to a tenner per head.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

I’m Amie Burbridge. I’m a consultant in acute medicine. I work at Coventry Hospital.

End of May, June-time. The weather was getting warmer. The number of people coming into hospital had drastically reduced. It was actually surprisingly quite quiet. It was almost like after this very large peak, it was just a lull. It was really bizarre.

We started to think about the future, and it was over, life is going back to normal. And we thought the children needed a break. I really wanted a break. So we ended up driving to Switzerland. We camped literally in the middle of nowhere. We did lots of walks up beautiful mountains. It felt like we were in The Sound of Music. It was definitely the right thing to do. Although I do feel bad that we did leave the country, and maybe we shouldn’t have gone.

We all sort of knew that a second wave would come, but we didn’t really want to think about that. We wanted to enjoy the moment. It was almost like it was the calm before the storm that we knew what was going to come. But we didn’t know when.

MALE NEWSREADER:

There have now been over 10 million reported cases of the virus worldwide, and more than half a million deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. And the WHO warned that a vaccine was still a distant goal.

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, Director-General, WHO:

The worst is yet to come. I’m sorry to say that, but with this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Brazil maintains its status as the country with the second-highest number of deaths from coronavirus. It’s second only to the United States.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

Not even these numbers are prompting the president to change course. In the middle of a pandemic, many Brazilians feel they’re lacking leadership.

ALTO XINGU | BRAZIL

MALE NEWSREADER:

[Speaking Portuguese] President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed today that he has contracted coronavirus.

MALE SPEAKER:

[Speaking Kurikuru] Let’s watch this. Bolsonaro has caught COVID! [laughs]

TAKUMÃ KUIKURO:

[Speaking Portuguese] Everyone said, “Did Bolsonaro catch it? Good!” They all wanted him to be on a ventilator with this virus. "Bolsonaro" has become our word for crazy.

My name is Takumã. I belong to the Kuikuro people. I live at Ipatse village. The closest city is 170 km away from us. It’s part of Xingu Indigenous Park. Bolsonaro didn’t allow field hospitals here because he doesn’t support us. He wants to see us dead.

We’re building what we call "The House of the Dead." We’ve just received a tragic piece of news. One of the leaders of another village has just died from the pandemic. This is the second time it’s happened. First a child, now a grown-up. He was about 50 years old.

The death toll rose among indigenous people, so we thought that everyone was going to die. We felt as if a panther were about to strike. We decided nobody should go to the cities. We built an isolation house. When we thought someone was infected, we locked our gates.

I’m here at the village, in the middle of the village. This is where people get together. Not any more. COVID has arrived in the village.

My wife is sick. Others are sick, too. This means danger. We are really frightened.

This virus killed a lot of people. The corpses had to be buried outside the village, just like they do in cities. That’s the kind of thing that just destroys our culture.

LONDON | UK

ABU MUMIN:

Within the Bangladeshi community there are a large number of mainly male people who are out working to provide for their families. And they're at risk of being exposed to COVID-19, more than the majority of us. Now there are lots of widows.

[Speaking Bengali] OK, sister, here are your bags. Let me put them down for you.

As-salamu alaykum. Look, here are some sweets.

[Speaking English] Sweet. Marshmallow?

OSCAR:

Gummy bears.

ABU MUMIN:

Yeah, gummy bear. What’s your name?

OSCAR:

My name is Oscar.

ABU MUMIN:

Sorry?

OSCAR:

My name is Oscar.

ABU MUMIN:

Oscar! My name is Abu, Abu Mumin. OK? You enjoy. This is for you, OK?

OSCAR:

OK.

ABU MUMIN:

When Sheouli’s husband passed away, on the day of the burial, those people who were there really spoke highly of her husband, who provided for his family. He was a key worker. Because of him going out to work, he got COVID-19.

[Speaking Bengali] So much has happened, how are you coping?

SHEOULI KHATUN:

[Speaking Bengali] I can’t. I miss him every moment.

ABU MUMIN:

[Speaking Bengali] Pray for our brother. I heard he was a really good person.

SHEOULI KHATUN:

[Speaking Bengali] He always had a smile on his face. Shall I show you his photo? He was very good-looking. He would hold the baby. These are the things I can’t forget.

I didn’t think he had corona. He woke up in the morning and said, “I’m having difficulty breathing. Call the ambulance.” Tazul took his mobile with him. After arriving at the hospital he texted me, “At the moment I am in a normal ward.” I have the message here. “I’m in the normal ward. They’ve given me a lot of oxygen.” The next night, they sent him to the ICU.

ABU MUMIN:

ICU? Mm-hmm.

SHEOULI KHATUN:

He could not talk to me. I could not talk to him. My son lots of times told me he wants to go to hospital.

He wants to see his daddy. He used to tell me, “If I touch my daddy, Daddy will wake up.”

ABU MUMIN:

Oscar! How old are you?

OSCAR:

I’m 6 years old.

ABU MUMIN:

You are?

OSCAR:

I’m 6 years old.

ABU MUMIN:

You're 6 years old. I have a little boy who is 10 years old. Do you want to see his picture? Come on, then. I’ll show you. That’s me. Me and him. Me and him, we're having a play fight. Did you used to have play fight with your dad?

OSCAR:

Yeah. But Daddy died.

ABU MUMIN:

Well, we—you know, he's gone to Allah, buddy. Do you know where that is? He has gone to Jannah. You pray for him?

OSCAR:

My mommy does.

ABU MUMIN:

The numbers of people that we supported really exceeded our expectations. At times I felt like we were the third or the fourth emergency services.

SOUTH AFRICA

ITALY

EGYPT

BRAZIL

BANGLADESH

FEMALE SPEAKER:

Tyrone, can you go and bring this to Miss Latoya? Down there.

TONY SPELL:

There are many impoverished people in our congregation. They can’t pay their bills. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Well, one of the missions of the church is to help those people. In our local community, say an 80-mile radius, we pick up children of all ages and children of all races and bring them into this community that is a mostly Caucasian, white community.

DIANE:

Hi, my name is Diane. We out here outreaching for Life Tabernacle Church.

TONY SPELL:

We provide meals for people every time they come to church.

DIANE:

Hey, we have a church bus come here on Sunday—

TONY SPELL:

We offer people job training.

DIANE:

When I got out of prison I was homeless and I walked these streets—

God delivered me from drugs and alcohol, mental illness. He’s delivered me from depression. He’s delivered me from homosexuality. He’s healed me from hepatitis C.

TONY SPELL:

Why would anybody who is a church want to close their doors because of a virus?

MALE SPEAKER 1:

When the church doors closed, people like me had no place.

MALE SPEAKER 2:

This ain't just a weekend church for me. This is my life.

TONY SPELL:

Without our church, people would not have hope, so we refused to comply with government orders. But I was never afraid nor worried for one moment of the virus because if we were to die, our last breath on Earth is our first breath in heaven, in eternity. If we were to all die of the virus, we still were going to practice our religion.

September 16, 2020

MALE NEWSREADER:

The fastest spreading outbreak in the world at the moment is in India. It took India just 11 days to add another 1 million cases of the virus, and the growth of its outbreak has certainly outpaced the U.S., Brazil and Russia.

PRAKASH BHAT:

[Speaking Hindi] The lockdown ended for a while. We could go to work and feed our kids. But now, lockdown restrictions have been reimposed. We are scared now!

Give me three packets of tea.

MALE SHOP OWNER:

[Speaking Hindi] Saffron flavor?

PRAKASH BHAT:

[Speaking Hindi] This is a big shock for us artists and poor people. People working full time are getting salaries whether they go to work or not. Where do we go? Whose door do we knock on? If we knock on Mr. Modi’s door, he isn’t there.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

This is a very popular government, headed by a very popular prime minister. But it seems that now there is some skepticism also creeping into that.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

I feel like there is a general sense of giving up and a surrendering to destiny. People are getting tired; adherence to social distancing and mask wearing is going down.

PRAKASH BHAT:

[Speaking Hindi] I ask you, what is this damn virus? I’m 60 and poor. I sleep in the open. The passage is one meter from the door where I live. I still didn’t get corona. Today in my camp there are more than 3,500 families. No one has caught corona.

My brother-in-law’s daughters were getting married. He asked me to handle everything, as he was clueless. I suggested he marry all five girls at one wedding to cut costs.

Stop what you’re doing. Give him a plate.

The government was talking about limits on gatherings during lockdown. I decided that I wouldn’t think about corona. I was going to dance! My feet still move. My hands work. I’m still young. We didn’t care about death. We just wanted to die happy with our bellies full.

TAKUMÃ KUIKURO:

[Speaking Portuguese] Kuarup is the most important ritual here in Alto Xingu because it signals the end of mourning when we can come together again. We’re risking our lives with this close physical contact.

Normally, nine indigenous groups participate in this ritual. This year, only two took part. Many of our people had died. It’s even more important to pay homage to them.

These rituals are essential to our culture. They bring joy and health to us all. We really believe this helped us through the pandemic. There is no such thing as having no faith. We all have our own spirituality. Everyone has their own spirit, their soul.

MALE NEWSREADER:

In the breaking pandemic news, the United States just topped 9 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The number of Americans dead in the pandemic has now surpassed 229,000 people.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Hospitalizations are going up. Individuals in the ICUs are going up.

MALE NEWSREADER:

So what does that very, very grim milestone mean for our country?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

I want you to know our nation's going to defeat this terrible China virus, as we call it. Through the power of the American spirit, I think more than anything else.

TONY SPELL:

But although we have the greatest document in the world, called the Constitution, that’s not why we have pushed back today. We have pushed back because of the word of God, in which the Constitution was written from.

BELINDA SPELL:

You're just trying sort it all out and get it all right in your mind. What’s right, what’s wrong. What should we do, what shouldn’t we do. I got COVID. I was very sick. I got well, but I was sick. I wouldn’t wish it on nobody.

TONY SPELL:

At the name of Jesus, demons tremble! At the name of Jesus, sickness has to get up and go out!

BELINDA SPELL:

I’ve had a couple of friends, close friends, die from COVID. That hurt, because I had COVID and I got well. And I’m like, what’s the deal? They got COVID and they passed away.

TONY SPELL:

At the name of Jesus, I command you, come out of him, legions!

JEFFREY S. WITTENBRINK:

I got COVID, and I got a pretty bad case of it and was actually frankly pretty shocked about that. Ended up in the hospital for 11 days; I lost almost 30 pounds. I was actually comforted by Pastor’s words, because he had talked about the fact that some people would get sick, and some people might even die. But his point, and it was well taken by me, was that nobody forces anybody to go to church, but the people that go really want to be there.

TONY SPELL:

When you come to meet Jesus, you’re going to get delivered of your problem. God’s going to pick you up and turn you around! Set your feet on higher ground! I've never met an enemy that God can’t defeat! I’ve never met a problem that God can’t solve!

JOE BIDEN:

I’ll deal with this pandemic responsibly.

To beat the virus, we first got to beat Donald Trump. He’s the virus.

DONALD TRUMP:

And sure as hell I caught it, and now I guess they say I’m immune, so you can—I’m immune!

November 3, 2020

TONY SPELL:

All right, everybody. We’re glad that you're joining us for the 2020 election party.

This election is the most personal election for me that I’ve ever voted in. If it doesn’t go my way, how I voted, then I’m going to spend time behind bars. I think that Donald James Trump is going to win tonight.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Tonight Joe Biden's got 164,000, so there's still a lot of votes to be counted in Detroit.

MALE NEWSREADER:

And he's managed to hold most of those. We're—we think he's not going to win in Arizona.

TONY SPELL:

It’s not good. Not good at all.

DONALD TRUMP:

I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support. Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight. A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people.

TONY SPELL:

God bless America, because we’re going to need it. Because it's going to be civil unrest, all kind of problems. Rioting and looting in the streets.

Civil unrest, comma. And years of court battles. That’s not good for me or my children. All right.

CROWD [chanting]:

Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

MALE PROTESTER 1:

They're telling us there's a pandemic. It’s a pack of lies to brainwash you and keep you in order.

MALE PROTESTER 2:

Join us, for goodness sake, and stop serving the psychopaths.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

People started to say COVID was a hoax; it was all made up; it was all rubbish. Why? What more do people need to really realize that this is true? People are dying. Huge numbers of people.

I just want to say to them, "Come to work with me today, we’ll see what's bulls--- or not."

COVENTRY | ENGLAND

MALE NEWSREADER:

Britain has become the first country in Europe to record more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths. The prime minister warned the U.K. wasn’t yet out of the woods.

MALE NEWSREADER:

Boris Johnson said the U.K. was moving to a new phase in its battle against the virus.

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

The feelings going into that second wave were very different to the first wave. The first wave was very much, “We're all in this together.” Not to say that that wasn't there in the second wave, but it was more like, "Oh, God." Now we know what's happening. We know that the long hours are coming, and the worst thing was the anticipation that we were going to be seeing lots of very sick people who we couldn’t do anything for.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The immediate pressures on the NHS are still with us. With many wards already full, health unions say staff are complaining of feeling exhausted by this—

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

It was—relentless. It’s—it’s like an armor. You have to protect yourself from what you see day in, day out, because if you don’t, you take it home with you. But over the last few months, that armor's gone. I’ve lost my ability to smile and be happy. And that was a lot of people who were experiencing that.

MALE NEWSREADER:

There’s reason for cautious optimism that there may be an end in sight.

MALE NEWSREADER:

A vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford is set to transform the battle against coronavirus.

MALE NEWSREADER:

The results of clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is 93% effective, far higher than—

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

The 8th of December was a particularly special day. Well, it was incredible for the whole world, but in particular for our hospital at Coventry, because we were the first hospital in the whole world to deliver the vaccine, which just blows my mind.

MALE NEWSREADER:

This is Margaret Keenan, who you can see there. She is 90. She was the first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech jab at University College Hospital in Coventry.

FEMALE NEWSREADER:

That has just happened within the last few minutes. These pictures that we're showing you—

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

It was slightly strange coming to work and there being press everywhere. And we didn’t know it was going to happen. It was incredible. It was a really magical moment, and for the hospital, as well. It really lifted our spirits and our morale.

BORIS JOHNSON:

And so like every other European country facing similar challenges, we've come to this moment, this great global festival. A turning point. A time of year that is of immense emotional, spiritual importance. It is with a very heavy heart I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.

JOE BIDEN:

Jill and I send our prayers, as I'm sure all of you do, to all who are facing this dark winter with an empty seat at the dinner table.

CAROL MANSOUR:

My greatest fear was that humanity will not learn anything. This is why I'm trying to focus on the little joys.

PRAKASH BHAT:

[Speaking Hindi] God’s place is full of light. I am still alive. We don’t know what the next moment will bring.

IVAN VASILIEV:

[Speaking Russian] And I would like to raise this wonderful glass of milk for a new, lucky 2021. Hooray!

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

I think COVID will be with us in some form or another for the rest of our lifetimes, and for our children’s lifetimes, and our children’s children’s lifetimes. It’s massive. You know, if you would have said to me a year, 18 months ago we’d be living like this, there is no way I would have believed you.

December 31, 2020

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

Right, it’s New Year’s Eve— [coughs]

BOY:

—and she’s got COVID. Chocolate!

AMIE BURBRIDGE:

It’s 8 o'clock and we're doing a family New Year’s Eve quiz. It’s just not working, is it?

So that was basically a snapshot of our New Year’s Eve. The whole house is riddled with COVID. We all had positive COVID tests, and it’s the first proper day, really, I guess, we've been out of bed all day or eaten in seven or eight days. COVID is terrible. Good riddance, f---ing 2020, because I tell you what: 2021 cannot be any worse than 2020.

54m
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