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For years, the growth of wealthy countries has relied on a supply of willing labor. The pandemic has called that into question.   © Illustration by Eric Chow
The Big Story

Crucial yet forgotten: the Filipino workers stranded by coronavirus

What happens when the world's largest migrant workforce disappears?

AURORA ALMENDRAL, Contributing writer | Philippines

BANGKOK -- Norman Eleazar has spent the last 14 years working in high-end hotels in the glittering capitals of the Gulf states. He was in Tehran, working as corporate director for sales at the Espinas Palace Hotel, the city's only five-star property, when he first heard murmurs about a new virus spreading across China.

Eleazar asked former colleagues who had moved on to Beijing what they knew. By February, before Iran became home to the first major outbreak outside of China, Eleazar had already requisitioned stocks of sanitizer, masks, gloves and temperature guns for the hotel.

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