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Seattle residents featured in new PBS special about life amid COVID-19

Life right now is unpredictable, uncharted territory. The coronavirus pandemic is not something that's happening to one or some, but everyone around the globe.

And a new PBS special is focusing on how COVID-19 is affecting people in the United States. PBS American Portrait is a storytelling initiative launched in January 2020 where people submit their personal stories about what it's like being an American today. Little did they know when they launches, the stories they'd collect in just a few short months would actually be how a pandemic is impacting daily lives.

"In This Together: A PBS American Portrait Story" is a 30-minute compilation of those stories from all kinds of people — mothers, healthcare workers, artists and delivery drivers, to name a few. The special, airing 9 p.m. Friday (May 8), features several people from Seattle.

Using self-shot video and photos, some people talk about how COVID-19 is impacting them in terms of their health, loneliness and loss.

One of the stories from Seattle is a woman talking about losing her husband to COVID-19 on St. Patrick's Day.

"I never expected to be alone," she said in the special. "We're 78, and I know it sounds funny, but I thought we were going to grow old together. And now I'm alone."

But the special also focuses on how we are coming together, supporting one another right now and adapting.

One story from Seattle is about artists painting murals over boarded-up businesses that have been vandalized. Another talks about a family welcoming their second child amidst the pandemic. Another is about a group that's tasked themselves with making hundreds of masks for frontline workers. It's truly a testament to a phrase that's brought us hope during this time — we got this, Seattle.

If you miss "In This Together: A PBS American Portrait Story" when it airs, it will also be available to stream on and the PBS Video app.