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Pandemic 2020 review – a masterly mapping of the Covid outbreak

The team behind Once Upon a Time in Iraq has compiled a moving and sometimes hopeful three-parter that offers a global perspective on the crisis

Like the virus itself, the programmes about it have moved from localised subjects to a slightly wider field and now have expanded to take in a global view. It hasn’t been a perfectly linear progression, of course, but most of the first documentaries were composed largely of footage recorded by medical professionals themselves, at work and then – exhausted and tearful – at home.

After that came socially distanced films recording the impact on local communities and bereaved families, the experiences of survivors and the long-term consequences for those who do not make a full recovery. Alongside that have come considerations and critiques of the UK response to the crisis and comparisons – not generally favourable – with that of other countries.

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