A Letter From Quezon City, Where the Stars Have Come Back

In the Philippines, COVID-19 Has Made the Air Cleaner—And Revealed the Nation’s Deeper Challenges

It’s amazing how much more you’re able to see when you can’t go wherever you want.

We’re now more than six weeks into the “enhanced community quarantine” for Luzon. Just as the Milky Way is an archipelago of stars, the Philippines is a nation of islands, with Luzon being its largest. I live in Quezon City, on the northeast side of greater metropolitan Manila.

As I’ve learned to live the life of a recluse, my vision has improved—I see more clearly my own neighbors. I can see more of those Milky Way …