Not long ago, to step through the lushly planted Green Wall at Singapore’s Changi Airport was to walk into an ever-more-globally connected future.
Millions of passengers each month rushed to and from destinations throughout the world via the most advanced travel experience on Earth — traversing Changi’s new $1 billion terminal meant checking in, dropping bags and boarding flights with just the touch of a few buttons.
Long layover? Good problem. You could linger at the airport’s Changi Jewel, with its jungle canopy and 131-foot Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Wander up to a rooftop swimming pool and plane spot. Or leave the airport for a free tour of the ethereal towers of the city-state at the center of the world’s financial and trade systems.
But like fire through Notre Dame, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has now silenced this cathedral of interconnectedness — turning Changi into an emblem of what…