When the World Changed

Air Date: 04/29/2021

Where Were You? A personal essay from NET Executive Producer about the wake-up call of COVID-19 and how it resonates through the history of Nebraska, and the world. Christine and her crew were nearly stranded in Boston while working on a documentary about Thomas Wilkins, Director of the Omaha Symphony, when the pandemic shutdown began. Her essay turns back the clock to reveal how America’s first Native doctor, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, battled a tuberculosis epidemic that devastated the Omaha tribe and the horror of the Spanish flu reflected in the experiences of Willa Cather and General John Pershing. Pandemic Parallels Contagious disease historian Dr. Kristin Watkins provides insight on the marked similarities between two pandemics that happened 100 years apart – COVID-19 and the 1918 influenza. COVID Curveball Dr. Tawana Grover, Superintendent of Grand Island Public Schools, shares her perspective on the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 has presented education and how her school system is working to not only meet the educational and emotional needs of teachers and students, but also finding avenues for them to thrive. 531 Nebraska Two University of Nebraska-Omaha students fought their pandemic boredom by visiting every town in Nebraska, all 531 to be exact. Armed with sanitizer, face masks and the latest guidelines for social distancing, the pair hit the road to learn more about our state. Posting visits to historic landmarks and other notable destinations on their Facebook page “Visit531Nebraska," they forged thousands virtual connections when real, face to face ones were not possible.