Emmys 2020: First responders get the spotlight as Emmy presenters on Sunday

Awards shows typically amp up the glitz on stage with big names as presenters, and in another year, that surely would have been the case for the Emmys on Sunday.

And sure, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jennifer Aniston, Sterling K Brown, Zendaya, Jason Sudeikis and more were on hand to help.

But with the show turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, the show enlisted first responders, who’ve worked throughout the pandemic often at great risk to their own health, as presenters in different categories.

Nurse practitioner Katie Duke handled best-supporting actress in a drama series from New York City where she lives, works, and contracted COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic.

“I felt so alone because my family can’t see me, my friends can’t see me,” she said of that experience. “I’m in an isolation room and I’m on oxygen. I felt scared.

After her recovery, Duke said she “knew how special life is … and I’m incredibly excited to present the nominees for best supporting actress.”

Throughout the show, first-responder presenters included emergency room workers, a truck driver and a UPS driver. As well, other workers such a teacher and a rancher presented awards.

Did we miss the fancy folk? Not this year, when ordinary people are so deserving of all they’ve done to keep our lives going as smoothly and healthfully as possible.


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