I have always liked the idea of an ETH Zurich satellite in Asia, and have been wondering how the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC)—being part of the ETH family—set in a geographically, politically and culturally different environment, might work. This was one of the main reasons for choosing the SEC as the place to go for my sabbatical leave.
After a year of planning, when everything finally seemed to fall into place, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. My family and I were able to leave Switzerland for Singapore in early March, just in time to avoid any travel restrictions. But the pandemic caught up with me nonetheless: On the very first day of my sabbatical, the SEC was closing down and had sent most of its staff to work from home.