Pandemic Stories

Pandemic Stories: Are They Tired, Crushing, or Comfort?

The adjustment to Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 is not easy. We just worked out the masking and social distancing rules -and now there are new ones. While the change is thankfully for the better, it’s still another round of adjustments. Happily, we have not been short on entertainment to get us through this time. Streaming services have come through with tons of content to choose from.  Some of these pandemic stories are worth a watch.

When You’re Ready… IF You’re Ready

As you might expect, some of this content relates to the experience of living through a global pandemic. And while we know lots of people are just done and don’t want to think about it anymore, others might feel comfort, validation, and connection watching something that reflects what they have been through for over a year. 

With that in mind, we have five suggestions for programming that tell a story of Covid-19. We leave it to you to decide when the time is right for you.

For the history buffs: Coronavirus Explained

Platform: Netflix

Length: 3 episodes

This Netflix documentary came out in April of 2020, when we were still in the height of the pandemic and everything was still “new”.  Netflix was able to capitalize in a time where things were (and still are) scary for people and help shed some light onto the global pandemic. The documentary provided solid information for viewers to get a better understanding of what was happening beyond news reports and the media. Netflix did an impressive job turning this around so quickly given how fast the pandemic took over.


Platform: Hulu

Length: 1hr 30min

Released in December 2020, this futuristic pandemic story depicts a world where the pandemic is still in effect four years later (let’s hope this movie didn’t bring any bad juju). The two main characters fall in love virtually which appears to be a trend that is sticking. What’s really interesting about this movie is that it represents the challenges of the pandemic in an extreme way –and yet, we can relate to it.   The movie didn’t do very well when it came out, but we suspect the timing was not right.  This may be a movie that becomes a phenomenon later when people have a bit more distance.


Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Length: 1hr 24min

Created in India and released in December of 2020, the movie revolves around a corona virus exposure to an Indian family. As far as realistic pandemic stories go, this one would be one of the better ones. It sets up exactly what the world has been going through except we view it from an international perspective. As a film student, I really enjoy watching movies and tv shows made internationally.  The approach to filmmaking is different and for those who like the unexpected, international films are a treat. 


Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Length: 1hr 24min

The theme of this movie was “a day in the life”. The director shot the film in one continuous take and shows different people crossing paths as they navigate their new normal. The movie features a frontline worker going to work and providing for their family. his approach for filmmaking is really interesting with minimal to no editing taking place. As a pandemic story, watching this one was a unique experience.

Covid-19: The System

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Length: 1hr 39min

This documentary takes place in the Netherlands with a message expressing skepticism about the response to the pandemic as a whole. We see people questioning whether or not the pandemic is about public health. Film creators interview doctors and ordinary people to get their perspectives. Again, we witness an international take on a globally shared experience.

What Comes Next?

In some ways, it’s hard to imagine how to tell the story of the pandemic in a way that is both unique and appealing to watch. Pandemic-fatigue is real! However, like all difficult chapters in history, we witness the best and the worst people. Those actions become the fodder for storytelling inspiration. We look forward to seeing what filmmakers around the world create to capture that inspiration.

This piece was contributed by Bryanna Taylor. Bryanna is a recent graduate of George Mason University’s Film & Video Studies program with a concentration in producing. She aspires to be a showrunner in the TV industry one day. When she’s not behind the camera, she enjoys reading, writing, watching TV, and ziplining.

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