The coronavirus has taken a devastating toll on American life, causing 200,000 deaths and triggering a recession that has cost the U.S. economy tens of millions of jobs. But it has also, in many cases, brought out the best in humanity, with people helping those in need.
“Frontliners,” a new limited series from Ryot in partnership with Yahoo News, tells the story of the pandemic from the point of view of individuals doing what they can to help their communities.
They include a microbiologist studying bacterial pathogens at a Texas college campus virtually shuttered in the wake of COVID-19; the director of a food bank providing for people in need in California; and a Hollywood agent-turned-pizza chef who has been making and delivering free pizzas to essential workers and others in need in New Orleans.
“I thought, I’m going to wake up, make as many pizzas as I can and go deliver them to as many deserving people as I can,” says Larry Galper, who founded NOLA Love Pizza during the pandemic using Instagram. “People who think no one’s thinking about them.”
“This has been the experience of my life,” Galper adds. “This truly has given me the most purpose I’ve ever felt. Unfortunately it was spawned by a worldwide pandemic. But there are silver linings everywhere.”
• Episode 1: Meet Karl Klose, a microbiologist on the cutting edge of COVID-19 research
• Episode 2: How the FIND Food Bank is keeping at-risk communities fed during the pandemic
• Episode 3: The story of NOLA Love Pizza