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Such first-person reflections touch on a plurality of themes brought on by the pandemic, forces and dynamics of pressing concern to many, such as contagion, safety, health inequalities, societal injustices, loss and separation, displacement, phantasmal imaginings and possibilities, the uncertain arts of calculating risk and protection, limits on movement and travel, and the biopolitical operations of sovereign powers. The various writings—spun from diverse situations and global locations—proceed within a temporal flow, starting in March 2020, with the first alerts and cases of viral infection, and then move on to various currents of caution, concern, infection, despair, hope, and connection that have unfolded since those early days. The writings then move into 2021, with events and moods associated with the global distribution of potentially effective vaccines and the promise and hope these immunizations bring. The written record of these multiform dispatches involves traces of a series of lives, as the authors of those lives tried to make do, and write, in trying times.
A timely ethnography of an event that has changed all our lives, this book is critical reading for students and researchers of medical anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, contemporary anthropological theory, and ethnographic writing.