To be a health care worker in the best of times includes days of stress, sorrow, frustration, triumph, joy and reflection — not always in that order. This past year was all of that on warp speed, as the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

To mark the one year anniversary of that declaration, we've photographed and interviewed nine healthcare workers from around the globe, serving very different communities but all with the same goal: conquering COVID-19. We especially wanted to know: What has surprised them most over the past year? And how have they managed to cope with all the stress?

A colleague of Dr. Storm Bissict's was the first serious case of COVID her hospital had seen of one of their own staff. His health deteriorated to the point that he needed a tube inserted to help him breathe — intubation, often the last line of defense for COVID patients.

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