When many think of Peru, Machu Picchu usually comes to mind, with its emerald slopes, stone walls, and astronomically aligned Temple of the Sun. It’s a place where travelers seek enlightenment and an escape from the chaos of life. When a pandemic like COVID-19 breaks out and borders close, however, lives are suddenly turned upside down.
In conversation after conversation with The Daily Beast, Americans remaining in Peru tell stories of being stranded with no definite way home, struggling to find shelter, suffering physical assault, and facing a shortage of necessary medications.
Peru has 416 cases of COVID-19 and (as of publication) seven deaths. This is partly due to an immediate and strict quarantine emergency order issued March 16 by President Martin Vizcarra, with borders being closed the following day. That brought all travel to a halt, limiting movement outside of homes to getting necessary supplies, with a strong military presence enforcing that order.