City of Laurel Debuts Covid-19 Special Detailing First Year of the Pandemic
For the last 16 months, the City of Laurel Department of Communications has been taking videos and photos of the many ways the City and its residents, employees, first responders, and business owners have been impacted by the pandemic.
The most compelling of those images have been compiled into a special report called: “Covid-19 One Year Later: The City of Laurel’s Survival Story.”
It debuts tonight, May 21, 2021 on Laurel TV at 8 pm—the city’s public access television station on Comcast 996 and 71, Verizon Channel 12, livestream on laureltv.org, and on the LaurelTVOfficial YouTube channel.
One of the most dramatic scenes from the video starts with a drone shot of Mayor Craig A. Moe arriving for work at the Municipal Center where the parking lot is empty. Employees had been sent home to telework to keep them safe, but Mayor Moe kept coming into the office- determined to keep City services up and running.
“ Never did I ever think I would live through something like this pandemic,” Mayor Moe says. “It has really forced us to re-think how we govern and making sure we’re prepared to govern in times like this.”
The Special Report was written by Communications Director Audrey Barnes who also hosts and narrates the program, but every member of the Communications Department contributed to it-- writing and editing segments, pouring through hours of videos and photos to find the best and most powerful images. Keston DeCoteau of Keystone Productions edited the 45 minute special for the team.
“ This is some of the finest work our Department has produced in the seven years I have been here, “ Ms. Barnes said. “ This is Laurel’s history--a story unlike any we’ve ever told. We want people decades from now to be able to see what the City endured, struggled with and overcame while fighting the Coronavirus. This report captures all of that.”
A special preview for the Mayor, City Council, employees and Department heads on Thursday, several people could be seen wiping tears from their eyes throughout the broadcast.
“We’ve been through so much, and we’re still going through it,” City Clerk Kim Rau said.
“I’d almost forgotten what those first few months were like being in the half-empty building, wearing masks, and trying to keep going, but we all did it together,” Chief of Staff Sara Green said. “The report brought it all back.”
The Special Report includes interviews with first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines at
The University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center.
Dr. Louisette Vega, Medical Director of the Emergency Room at the Laurel Medical Center says the pandemic is the most stressful thing she’s endured in 15 years of practicing medicine. The impact on the Black and Latino community in Prince George’s County was especially tough to see, especially at the start of the pandemic, she says.
Dr. Vega offered some words of hope and the need to still be cautious at the end of the program.
“ We’re not out of the woods yet. We don’t have enough people vaccinated yet to let our guards down,” Dr. Vega says.
“Covid-19 One Year Later: The City of Laurel’s survival story will air at 8 pm on May 21st, at Noon and 8pm on May 22nd, and at 2pm and 8 pm on May 23, 2021. After that you’ll be able to find and view it on the LaurelTVOfficial YouTube channel.
Media inquiries should be directed to Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications, [email protected]