"Asia on alert over mysterious virus outbreak in China."
On Jan. 3, Nikkei Asia reported this news from Hong Kong. The headline came as an unwelcome end to the New Year's holiday, but who could have imagined that the world would suffer from this mysterious virus for the entire year? This was our first report about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
There were no vaccines nor drugs for treatment. We lacked solid knowledge about this new virus. It soon became a pandemic. To prevent further spread of the virus, many countries shut their borders and enforced strict lockdowns in cities. Our lives changed dramatically and economies were seriously damaged. Health care crises continue to this day around the world.
There were also big discussions about the efficacy of face masks even as manufacturers rushed to produce more and more masks, gloves and protective clothing. Our readers closely read the progress of drugs and mask supplies.
Meanwhile, China passed a controversial national security law on Hong Kong. Some countries reacted negatively. The year also saw a further widening of the tech decoupling between the U.S. and China.
However, not all economic activity and innovation came to a stop. Tesla's market cap surpassing that of Toyota's was remarkable. We also brought you a rare teardown of Tesla's new electric vehicle. And this competition shows no signs of letting up -- Toyota will introduce a new type of battery-equipped EV next year, the news of which proved very popular with readers.