Washington Post

Six months, six countries, six families - and one unrelenting, unforgiving epidemic

Karen Yip, an actress who began disinfecting public buses during the pandemic as her theater work dried up, poses for a portrait in her neighborhood in the Sha Tin of Hong Kong on June 25, 2020. Foto: Photo for the Washington Post by Laurel Chor

For the rising actress in Hong Kong, who had broken free of the poverty of her peasant parents, 2020 began as a moment of hope. For the window cleaner in New Delhi, finally able to afford a new cellphone, the year's start was a time of small advances. For the young nurse newly assigned to the coronary care unit of a Madrid hospital, it was a dawn of promise.

They had their troubles, of course, as did the sorbet hawker from a Rio de Janeiro slum run by drug lords, the publishing manager in Budapest nervous about rising authoritarianism and the single mother in Nairobi staying steps ahead of hunger and her HIV infection. But the concerns were familiar, the challenges of a kind that could be faced, or fought, or at least recognized...

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