In the early months of the pandemic, much of normal life stopped. This was as true for me in the United States as for people I knew in countries around the world; we were all suddenly on pandemic time (Manley 2020). However, as one after another part of my life shifted, one aspect remained constant: the emails continued. Each week, and sometimes more than once, I received a request to serve as an expert witness in US political asylum cases for Nepali and Tibetan applicants. This is work I’ve been doing since 2005. It is work that seeks you out based on your knowledge of certain countries, for which one becomes an ‘expert’ when there is trouble in a country you know professionally (Good 2007). And it is work that I always feel unprepared for, as it requires not only testifying to political conditions in an applicant’s host country but also being a witness to their often horrific experiences of political persecution.