Thomas Preston, a political science professor at Washington State University and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.
“It has been interesting to be under martial law, with the police vehicles constantly announcing from loudspeakers to stay in your homes or risk death!” Preston wrote almost 50 days into the southeastern European country’s 65-day lockdown. “Seeing convoys of disinfectant trucks going past, spraying the streets and buildings with chemicals, also has been unusual, to say the least. But these measures have really been effective, with Romania having only 11,000 cases and 600 deaths, and the peak having already been reached!”
Preston was a few weeks into teaching graduate seminars on political psychology and international security at Ovidius University when the U.S. Department of State suspended the Fulbright program and ordered all awardees to come home. But he and his wife, Leeanne Noble, decided to shelter in-place instead.