A Mother & Her Newborn Separated by COVID-19

August 11, 2020

How the coronavirus separated a mother from her newborn baby, and the schoolteacher who stepped in to help the family in their time of need.

Filmmaker Oscar Guerra discusses the story at the heart of his new FRONTLINE documentary, Love, Life & the Virus — which follows a mother, Zully, who gave birth on a ventilator with COVID-19 and then spent nearly three weeks in a coma battling the virus. It wasn’t safe for Zully’s newborn to go home to her husband and older son, who were infected as well — so her older son’s ESL teacher, Luciana Lira, took the baby in while the family recovered, saying, “I am willing to help, 100 percent.”

Guerra speaks about the challenges facing immigrant families like Zully’s in the time of the coronavirus, how the community in Stamford, Connecticut banded together to help — and what it was like to document the “beautiful” moment when the mother and her infant son were finally reunited.

Stream Love, Life & the Virus beginning the night of Tues., Aug. 11.

The FRONTLINE Dispatch is made possible by the Abrams Foundation Journalism Initiative.