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healthcare workers and coronavirus

Healthcare Workers: On The Frontlines of the War Against Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Healthcare Workers: On The Frontlines of the War Against Coronavirus

PBS NewsHour Extra discusses healthcare workers and their safety as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread gobally.


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Healthcare Workers and The War on Coronavirus

Read the news summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Follow along with the transcript here.

Teacher’s note: Be sure to watch the video before sharing with your students. If you are making plans for distance learning, take a look at our list of PBS resourcesthat covers a variety of subjects for middle and high school students. 

Healthcare Workers and Coronavirus Summary: Concern is growing around the country over how frontline health care workers will deal with a potential surge of very sick coronavirus patients. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are also worried about their own health and that of their families. PBS NewsHour Correspondent William Brangham talks to Dr. Billy Goldberg, an ER doctor at NYU Langone Health, and Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Healthcare Workers: Discussion Questions

  1. Essential question: Why do health care workers play an essential part in our society, particularly during times of crisis?
  2. How do health care workers deal with the extra risks they face treating patients with coronavirus?
  3. Notice the manner in which the two medical professionals talked about the challenges hospitals are facing, including lack of medical supplies, masks being “visibly spoiled” and fears about staff bringing COVID-19 home to their families. What skills and qualities do the physicians show in this interview? How do those skills help them perform their jobs better?
  4. If you are worried after hearing some of the concerns health care workers are facing, who is someone you could talk with?
  5. Media literacy: Take note of the types of questions that NewsHour’s William Brangham asked the medical professionals. What types of questions did Brangham ask? How did he keep them meaningful? How do you form a good question that will be helpful to viewers?
pbs interviews healthcare workers
PBS interviews a doctor on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Healthcare Workers: Extension Activities

  1. As the global spread of the novel coronavirus accelerates, over a fifth of the world’s population is being asked to stay home. More than 35,000 cases and at least 400 deaths are confirmed in the U.S. Meanwhile, Congress is struggling to come to agreement on a bill to provide economic relief to Americans in the pandemic’s wake.
    • Watch the following NewsHour story (STOP video at 4m:00s mark) and following along with the transcript hereAsk your students: What will it take for Congress to agree on a bill that helps the American people and not “play politics”?

2. Music education: Have your students tag their music videos using #SongsOfComfort and @NewsHourFind out more about how to participate in this Extra Daily News Story here: Yo-Yo Ma provides comfort in a time of crisis

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More

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