Pandemic Life in Pictures
More than 6 million deaths. Two years and counting. We asked people from Puerto Rico to Mongolia to reflect on how the coronavirus has reshaped daily life and forever changed them.
Kavugho Syavughangise, a seamstress, washes her hands in front of a shop in Kirumba, Democratic Republic of Congo. After this eastern region heard about the coronavirus outbreak, the number of washbasins in public areas and houses increased. “I know that COVID-19 has killed thousands of people," she says. "But it made me realize that I need to keep my hands clean all the time.”
Gnanachandran Sasitharan prepares invoices at his store, which he opened with his brother in January 2021, in the northern Sri Lanka city of Jaffna. “There was an increased demand for sanitary cleansers, face masks and other products due to the strict hygiene practices," says Sasitharan, who sells products to private companies, the government and the public. "So we started a shop.”
David Emanuel Ávila Alfaro, right, teaches kung fu to Mario Amaro, 12, left, and Leonardo Amaro, 9, center, in Mexico City. The class was suspended for more than 15 months during the pandemic and resumed with a requirement to wear face masks indoors. “There haven’t been many problems with giving classes,” Ávila says. “But the students are wearing face masks, and sometimes I demand a lot of effort from them, a lot of endurance.”
Bat-Ireedui Tuya, left, and his wife, Bulganchimeg Tsogtoo, right, do educational activities with their daughter, Munkh-Ujin Bat-Ireedui, 3, and son, Munkh-Orgil Bat-Ireedui, 9, at their home near Mongolia's center in Erdenebulgan, Arkhangai province. The parents regularly draw, paint and read books with their children to overcome delays in schooling and development due to the pandemic. “We sincerely want to leave good memories for our children [to look back on] in the post-COVID time," Bulganchimeg says.
Raveendren Thanusiyan, 17, reads outside a school in the northern Sri Lanka town of Mannar. Raveendren is taking extra classes to make up for time missed because of the pandemic. “I have to study the whole syllabus because I missed many days," he says. "Had it not been for COVID, we would have written the exam, come up with the result, and started studying" at the next level.
Nilsa Acosta Wiscovitch, an avid cyclist for more than 20 years, poses with her bicycle in Boquerón, Cabo Rojo on Puerto Rico's southwest coast. “COVID-19 disrupted all lives," she says. "In my case, it disrupted my own personal and professional life because I got it, too.” She still cycles despite health challenges. But in early 2022, the nurse, who has more than 35 years of experience, had to close a senior center she had operated for four years.
Odbayar Gombodavaa browses books at a public street library in Erdenet, Orkhon province, in northern Mongolia. During the coronavirus lockdown, street libraries were established to provide a space to read and share books without visiting indoor libraries. “I read books here every time I go pick up my child from kindergarten,” Odbayar says. “My son, who is 5, has started asking me to go to the outdoor library now.”
Erika López Guillén, a dentist, cleans the teeth of María José López, 2, at a dental office in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. “We were already taking additional measures and using protective barriers, and then [prices] were doubled," she says. "Services became more expensive.”
Dashboldtsetseg Nasanbayar, who has participated in national bodybuilding competitions since 2019, lifts weights at a gym in Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi province, in southern Mongolia. “I couldn’t compete abroad due to the pandemic lockdowns,” Dashboldtsetseg says. “It will be my first time competing in the world championship.”