Åsne Seierstad is a Norwegian journalist and writer. Among her books are The Bookseller of Kabul (2002), Angel of Grozny: Inside Chechnya (2007), and One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway (2015); her most recent is Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad (2018). (April 2020)

Follow Åsne Seierstad on Twitter: @AsneSeierstad.

NYR DAILY

A Virus in the Neighborhood

Åsne Seierstad (left) with swimming club friends, Bygdø, Oslo, April 2020

The world is in disarray. The virus has spread to all continents. It has snuck in, even among those of us who are not directly affected. It forces our true personalities to the surface. In my district in Oslo, my neighbors have become closer to who they really are. Are we in this together? “The virus is a wake-up call,” one of my doctor friends says, standing in a white bikini on a dock by the Oslo fjord. “We have messed up nature. We have exploited it in places we shouldn’t have been.”