COVID-19

“Parks and Rec” co-creator Michael Schur on recreating Pawnee from home

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Apr 29, 2020
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Michael Schur with Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones and the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" cast in 2019. JB Lacroix/Getty Images
COVID-19

“Parks and Rec” co-creator Michael Schur on recreating Pawnee from home

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Apr 29, 2020
Michael Schur with Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones and the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" cast in 2019. JB Lacroix/Getty Images
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Tomorrow night, Leslie Knope and crew are returning to television for a special episode of “Parks and Recreation.” Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Michael Schur, the co-creator of “Parks and Rec” as well as shows like “The Office” and “The Good Place,” about making a special entirely from home.

NBC asked whether the cast of “Parks and Recreation” would reunite for a table read, and Schur proposed they instead do an original episode as a fundraiser. “Everybody was really happy to essentially volunteer their time,” Schur said. “I’m really happy that we were able to do it, and I’m even happier that we’re doing it for a good cause.”

To make the special, the writers and crew were all working remotely, and the actors filmed themselves in their respective homes. Schur said the entire process was challenging.

“For people who are used to working on TV shows, which are enormous, collaborative efforts involving hundreds of people in dozens of different departments, it’s not even an option, really,” he said. “Looking to the future, it’s hard to imagine how we make anything, really.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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