UK passport renewal - what's the story with COVID19 these days?

Need to renew my UK passport shortly. Still got about 7 months on the clock but wondering what the best time to send it in for renewal!!!

Any thoughts since COVID is running amok around the world? I expect it to take longer, but how much longer?

It takes at least one month right now. Process is the same, just delayed. You should renew it immediately.

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I renewed mine very recently with the same concerns about COVID related delay, and was surprisingly impressed by how smoothly the online renewal system worked and how quickly (given the current situation - it took a little over a month) I received the new passport. Probably better to get it done early though, just in case.

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Is renewing online the only option from Taiwan?

Yes, unless you need an emergency passport.