Pandemic World: Myanmar’s information gap

Each week, we’re taking a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world.

by Stranger’s Guide

How the world is coping with coronavirus this week:



An investigation by Global Voices examined mass deaths in Kano State, northwestern Nigeria and confirmed that these deaths were due to COVID-19. All the more troubling, it uncovered “denial and suppression of news about the deaths, disinformation, ethnically and religiously divisive messages and political rivalry.” (Global Voices)

Purchase our guide to Lagos, Nigeria for more context on this fascinating place.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia announced a ban on international visitors to its annual hajj pilgrimage—the first time in the modern era that Muslims from across the globe haven’t been allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims are urged to make the hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, and this year the ritual occurs at the end of July. The pilgrimage usually draws around 2.5 million people. Malaysia and Indonesia have already banned their citizens from traveling for the event due to the pandemic. (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy)


Because of a yearlong internet shutdown, hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar’s far west may know nothing about the deadly coronavirus spreading across the globe. Last June the Myanmar government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, ordered the internet shut-off in nine townships over concerns it was being used to inflame tensions between the military and insurgents. (Science Times)


During Uganda’s national lockdown due to COVID-19, people with disabilities were left stranded, and in some instances harassed, trapped and even shot. In one case, local Defense Unit teams enforcing the nigh curfew shot one man in the leg after he continued walking after they ordered him to stop. The man, Willy Oloya, was hearing and speech impaired, and eventually had to have his leg amputated. (Global Voices)


See more Postcards from around the world




The Wrestler

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861) was a master of the Japanese ukiyo-e tradition, a uniquely Japanese style of art which began with paintings and moved on to woodblock prints as inexpensive alternatives. Kuniyoshi was known for depicting samurai battles. His piece above shows a wrestling match in which wrestler Roshi Ensei sports tattoos over his entire body.