Lives that had been focused on school, university, sports or even going to K-pop concerts vanished overnight for members of Gen Z as the global pandemic struck.
While a lot was heard about older people at risk from COVID-19, this younger generation - born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s - also saw their worlds turned upside down in 2020.
Reuters profiled 10 young people around the world to learn how their lives had been affected by the coronavirus.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Joao Vitor Cavalcante, 19, had trained hard throughout 2019 for his budding career as a professional cyclist. He thought 2020 would be his best year so far.
But the pandemic upended that dream, prompting him to take a job at a car repair shop and give up his plans for a career in cycling.
"Cycling is not easy, it is cruel, although I enjoyed that cruelty," Cavalcante told Reuters. "Now I don't want to live off of that anymore. Instead I want to live to do it."
Cavalcante is one of millions of Brazilian Gen Zs who have had to drastically adjust their aspirations due to the pandemic's effect on the economy.
According to a survey financed by several Brazilian nonprofits, about 23% of Brazilians aged between 15 and 29 looked for new ways to make up lost income during the pandemic. About 60% signed up for emergency government payments, which handed out more than half of Brazil's minimum wage to any citizen without a formal job.
For Cavalcante, there was no other option. His parents were forced to shut down the family clothing store during the first few months of the pandemic and his sponsor left him when cycling competitions were cancelled.
His uncle, aware of the economic constraints, asked him to work at his car repair shop.
"He was my salvation," Cavalcante said. "Either I took that job or I would be working for nothing. Last year, I sort of had a future (in cycling), but that time has passed."
Cavalcante now works eight hours a day repairing cars, although he says he dislikes washing dirty auto parts. But it is a job that helped support his family during a rough time.
He wants to compete again in 2021, but only as an amateur.
"For 2021, I hope that things return to normal and that people can see their friends and family again and that they value their affection," he said.
(By Leonardo Benassatto and Marcelo Rochabrun)