A solitary Vietnamese woman surrounded by stacks of watermelon sits patiently waiting for some passersby to buy some load off of her. This photo was taken at Can Tho, Vietnam on 15th February 2020 before WHO declared the highly infectious COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic. At the moment, about 219 countries are affected by the novel coronavirus and businesses, especially small to medium enterprises, are experiencing a direct hit on their revenue which has ultimately resulted in many having to cease their operations. This raises the concern of the negative impacts the pandemic has on poorer nations as worldwide poverty rates increase drastically. The World Bank estimates a further 150 million people would live in extreme poverty by the end of 2021 as a result of the current situation. As governments across the world scramble to secure vaccines and implement quick rollouts, the situation may only worsen if foolproof solutions are not introduced to combat the spillover effects of an extended lockdown.
Aisha Nazar is a full-time independent commercial and documentary photographer whose visual narratives traverse along unique and vibrant landscapes of culture within communities of the world. In 2019, she was the first person to be named AirAsia x Sony Joint Ambassador. She is now a Sony Alpha Guru and co-founded Women Photographers Malaysia, a community based platform advocating for female empowerment in the creative industry. She is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.