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PBS American Portrait Shares How Americans are Adapting During the Coronavirus Pandemic In New Broadcast Special

May 9, 2020

Featured participants from across the U.S. include a first responder, an essential worker, and a recovering COVID-19 patient.

May 1, 2020
Scenester TV

PBS and its recently launched crowdsourced storytelling project, PBS American Portrait, the signature content initiative of PBS’s 50th anniversary, will present a new coronavirus special to broadcast Friday, May 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Since early January, the PBS American Portrait website has captured thousands of stories by Americans that, together, hope to answer the question: What does it really mean to be an American today? With the unprecedented global and national impact of COVID-19, the answer to that central question and related prompts has shifted in recent weeks, which is reflected in the submissions still pouring into the site. The half-hour special will spotlight some of the many personal stories, photographs, and videos shared by thousands of people in response to the prompt “I never expected…” and viewers will hear first-hand accounts of how this global pandemic has affected our nation.

Throughout the special, produced by PBS and RadicalMedia, participants from across the country use self-shot videos, photos and text to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their lives, their communities and their understanding of what it means to live in our country at this unique moment in time. In This Together: A PBS American Portrait Story will blend collages of various stories from across the country with a focus on three main stories.

First Responder

Allison A. is a first responder from Raleigh, North Carolina. As a critical care transport nurse, Allison finds herself at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has always loved her job but is candid about how scared and nervous she is now. Since her husband is also a first responder, they have sent their six-year-old son to live with his grandparents out of fear for his health. She and her husband have also been forced to prepare for the worst, signing over power of attorney to her parents and updating their will due to the severe risk associated with their jobs. In the meantime, Allison waits for the crisis to peak in her North Carolina district.

Essential Worker

Second is Mario C., an essential worker from Romulus, Michigan. Mario works as a warehouse associate at a facility on the outskirts of Detroit where confirmed cases of COVID-19 are multiplying among employees. Designated an “essential worker” in the pandemic crisis, Mario is concerned for himself and his family. He ultimately has to make life choices that define his future for years to come.

Recovering COVID Patient

Finally Cat G. is a recovering COVID patient from Aurora, Colorado. Cat tested positive for COVID-19 when she was 33 weeks pregnant with twins. When she gave birth, Cat had to be immediately intubated and separated from her babies. As she recovers at home Cat, Cat documents her difficult emotional experience as her and her husband’s only contact with their newborn sons is through a monitor in the NICU unit. The family prepares for the twins’ homecoming as they wait for the hospital to approve the babies’ discharge.

The special, In this Together: A PBS American Portrait Story featuring these three stories among many others, will begin streaming May 8 on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, YouTube TV and Chromecast.

PBS LearningMedia will also provide teachers and students with educational materials around the special focused on media and storytelling, drawing on PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs’ curriculum.

Please visit the PBS American Portrait website at www.pbs.org/americanportrait and follow the conversation at #AmericanPortraitPBS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to view the thousands of stories already being submitted.

Read the full article at scenester.tv.