The first coronavirus case outside of China appeared in Thailand. When the news hit in January, uneasiness spread among the population. Few people seemed confident that our government could handle the situation. After all, the minister of public health is a business tycoon without any background in health—unless you count his advocacy for legalizing marijuana. Many of us thought that we would have to take care of ourselves, as usual.
Expecting the worst, I began photographing Bangkok in the early days of the pandemic. I was especially afraid of a runaway outbreak in the city’s slums and that our healthcare facilities would be overrun. It didn’t turn out that way. The work has been frustrating at times, not because