NOVI SANZHARY, Ukraine — The day the riots broke out began just like any other.
Bells rang out from the church as people shuffled to work and students filed into classrooms. Doctors at the town’s hospital donned their white gowns and snapped on their latex gloves. Vendors at the local market sipped sugary coffee and laid out their wares. The head of the town council pulled back the curtains in her corner office to let in the morning light before going about her usual paperwork.
By nightfall, the Ukrainian town of Novi Sanzhary, population 8,300, would be turned upside down, thrust into a state of panic and chaos stemming from residents’ fears that the novel coronavirus was going to bring death to this previously unheralded backwater.