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James Weitz

The Pandemic Letters:

Interviews with travelers trapped abroad during COVID

How we managed during the slow-motion train-wreck that was the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown.


Title:                   The Pandemic Letters: Interviews with Travelers
                             Trapped Abroad During Covid
Author:               James Weitz
         OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L)/Buttonhook Press (November 30, 2022)
Language: ‎        English
Paperback: ‎      175 pages
ISBN-10:   ‎          1737774291 
ISBN-13: ‎            978-1-7377742-9-7
Item Weight: ‎    11.4 ounces
Dimensions: ‎     6 x 0.4 x 9 inches



The Pandemic Letters:

Interviews with Travelers Trapped Abroad During Covid

Available now from Amazon.


James Weitz chronicles the experiences of international travelers unexpectedly forced to cope with the consequences of the 2020 COVID 19 Pandemic.

As COVID-19 swept across the globe in early 2020, flights were cancelled, governments imposed lockdowns and sealed their borders, and the free movement of people worldwide was halted. The lives of twenty-six such people were abruptly altered when they became stuck in unexpected circumstances and unfamiliar locations — usually foreign countries. In this book, they speak of the extraordinary challenges they faced: finding new work, the stress of being separated from family, dealing with long-distance relationships, trying to marry loved ones, divorces, unexpected deaths, negotiating multiple national government bureaucracies simultaneously, and learning to cope with new cultures and ways of thinking.

In the words of unlucky and bewildered people faced with daunting circumstances:

(Kuala Lumpur)
We’ve tried getting married in four different countries: Malaysia, Thailand, China, Russia.

(Ho Chi Minh City)
 I’m scared of not having enough to eat. I have to buy food from nuns and charities.

So far, they’re just ranting thoughts, but I’m afraid I’m going to slip more.

My 9-year-old is stuck in Palau. All the flights are cancelled.

(Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
My marriage did not survive the Pandemic. That’s OK, though. For me things always happen with a purpose.

(Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
One thing led to another, and now she’s pregnant. So, my life is about to get a whole lot more interesting and purposeful. I’m 54, never had children. I didn’t want to be an old father, but it looks like that’s what’s going to happen.


About the writer:
James Weitz is a travel writer, satirist, and documentary filmmaker. His writing has appeared in Mekong Review and various online journals.

Available now from Amazon.

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