College professor in Louisiana documents COVID-19


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (WGNO) — One of the peculiar things about hardship is that it can inspire creativity. One local philosophy professor at Southern University at New Orleans is busy making a COVID-19 documentary.

Marco Altamirano picked up his camera and decided early in March after New Orleans received it’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19. Marco assigned his students projects based on the affects of the virus and then decided that he needed a project of his own. His documentary is titled “Corona in the Big Easy.”

It is a work in progress. Every couple of weeks, Marco releases a new installment on YouTube for the public to watch for free. “It’s hard to recognize New Orleans right now.  I’ve seen us struggle with things before and so when the pandemic arrived in the United States, I knew we were in for it.  But we are very resilient too and I just wanted to tell the story, so I just took a camera out and started documenting it. The first part deals with what happened in the beginning and why we were late to close and why people were still out on Saint Patricks Day and then the sudden realization when we had a spike in cases.  The second part deals with how we retreated into our homes, so we went into our homes and we hid from the virus but the virus crept in.”

The film shows viewers intimate views of businesses dealing with the absence of patrons as well as lonely residents of the city, who deal with the shift in how New Orleans celebrates. “It’s that love of community and that spirit of gathering that makes New Orleans what it is which also made New Orleans a hotbed.  That very same thing is actually pulling us through this,” says Marco.

If there is a always a constant of New Orleans, it’s that it always has a story to tell and there are always plenty of people who will tell it. To view Marco’s film installments of “Corona in the Big Easy” for free, you can check his instagram by clicking here.

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