Yumai Bishop, a participant in Science World’s Future Science Leaders program, remembers the moment the great earthquake of 2011 struck Japan.
“Everything that normally doesn’t move started moving," she says.
She and her little brother scrambled under the kitchen table. All their belongings fell off the shelves around them. From their fifth floor apartment, they could see the other buildings on their block swaying. This lasted a full six minutes.
"I thought I was going to die," she tells me. "I remember being overwhelmed by a helpless feeling that I hadn't really done anything meaningful in my life yet."
She was 10 years old.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded Yumai of the earthquake.
"We had the tsunami, and then the nuclear plant accident," she explains. “A lot of uncertainty. With this virus, we do not have a cure, and we don’t know how many people will be affected."
And it's during uncertain times like these, she says, that we need to stick together.