Dhaka, May 23 -- That's then, before he suffered a stroke of fate that would tear a hole in his business in the past couple of days.

The pandemic has thrown off track plans the Bangladesh garments entrepreneur had sewn together. His Western buyers have either cancelled orders or declined to pay with the shops closed in locked-down Europe and North America.

Mostafiz did everything he could for 10 days before the banks were closed. On Wednesday, the last business day, he went to the bank at 10 am and implored his buyers to send the money they owe so that he could pay the workers before Eid. No one did.

"It was like the sky fell on me. I went sleepless the entire night. I dreaded the very thought of letting my workers return empty-handed ...