In late December 2019, the Coronavirus (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), was identified. In early January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first cluster of pneumonia cases. Subsequently, this led to recognition of human-to-human transmission, a virulent outbreak, and the quarantining of Wuhan on the 23 January. This was not enough to prevent the spread of COVD-19 to other nations. A planetary pandemic was declared on 11th March and local transmission has now occurred in all regions of the world. To date, the COVID-19 global pandemic has led to untold human and economic suffering and tested some countries capabilities to their limits. Many cities and regions have come under quarantine measures, international travel has been severely curtailed and the present-day global system has ground to a halt. The pandemic has implicated humanity’s global activities and shown both the fragility and robustness of different national and regional responses. To date over 212 million have been infected with over 4.4 million total deaths confirmed1. As with others, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) has been deeply impacted by this unprecedented event. To respond to this, we have set up an initiative, the “Corona Chronicles: voices from the field” to offer a platform to capture what is happening on the ground. It aims to present different perspectives and voices from Southeast Asia and the other regions where our researchers work. It provides up-to-date commentary, analysis and thoughtful insight into how COVID-19 is impacting individuals, communities and nations as well as research initiatives. This platform will disseminate comparative perspectives from across different regions to share knowledge and responses. These are not limited solely to academic analysis, but also welcome nuanced commentary from writers, filmmakers, journalists, health care experts, and others.


23 Aug, 2021

Mario Lopez
Okamoto Masaaki


1. As of 23 August, 2021, 212,893,053 total confirmed cases by countries with 4,447,253 total deaths. (John Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Center)