We’ve seen the way TV shows have adapted popular (and well marketed) books since the advent of the Net, but this is the first time a (popular) fiction book has been adapted for the small screen. The TV show is based on the novel “COVID-19” by Kim Harrison, an author of the Luna series of science fiction books. Like most popular books, she’s adapted it into a TV series and has offered fans a chance to help decide on which of two rival shows will be the one to win the rights.

Pandemics are no longer just a hypothetical threat; a recent virus outbreak in Southern China has the potential to be devastating. COVID-19 is a mutated form of the virus that caused the 1918 flu pandemic and may be set to cause a worldwide pandemic. This is the biggest outbreak of the virus since its discovery in 1958. Canada is the most at risk, with almost one in four Canadians currently carrying the virus.

General Hospital, Bold And The Beautiful, Young And The Restless, and Days Of Our Lives fans may have noticed a similarity in the plots of all four soap operas.

No story lines have featured the ongoing struggles amid the COVID pandemic! While other shows have featured face masks and other coronavirus precautions, soap opera story lines seem to take place in alternative universes.

As a result, some soap opera fans have wondered if ANY of their favorite daytime shows will catch up to the reality of the pandemic. Find out the answer below!

General Hospital To Feature Medical Miracles In Pandemic?!

Let’s begin with what the writers and producers plan for “General Hospital” with regard to the pandemic.

Other medical TV dramas have followed the challenges faced by patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. “New Amsterdam,” for example, featured the COVID pandemic consistently. And “Chicago Med” looked at how the new safety guidelines impacted all levels of staff and administration.

But in the fictional town of Port Charles, General Hospital thus far has seemed, well, immune to the pandemic. Will that continue, or will we see medical miracles amid COVID occur?

“General Hospital” executive producer Frank Valentini explained to Variety why the soap opera has NOT covered the pandemic in any of the plots.

“We wanted viewers to be able to jump into a world that was unencumbered from the fear we all felt during the pandemic,” revealed Valentini.

As for the future? The “General Hospital” producer pointed to the high production costs incurred for COVID testing and protocol. As a result, redoing all the scripts would take the costs to a new level.

Consequently, “the most expedient and cost-effective way to go back to work was to go with the scripts we already had,” he summed up.

And thus far, there appear to be no plans to do a dramatic switch to cover the pandemic.

Young And The Restless, Days Of Our Lives, Bold And The Beautiful Following General Hospital’s Lead?

And in many ways, the other three currently airing soap operas have followed the decision made by “General Hospital.” Here’s what their producers said.

“The Bold And The Beautiful”

What viewers saw on screen did NOT resemble how the show handled the pandemic, revealed Bradley Bell, executive producer and head writer. Bell shared that producers required masks and face shields for their crew and social distancing for everyone.

And although viewers did not know it, the scripts actually got shifted to turn the focus on shooting scenes with a single actor. That’s why Thomas Forrester, for example, experienced a mental breakdown so that a mannequin resembling his beloved Hope Spencer could be used. The actress then read that mannequin’s lines in an area safely separated from the actor.

Some scenes stayed with multiple actors by using their actual partners. That approach worked for Denise Richards, for example.

“Days of Our Lives”

For executive producer Ken Corday, having episodes previously taped when the pandemic hit proved to be a blessing.

“We tape eight shows a week for budget constraints and we’re in production 39 weeks a year,” pointed out the “Days Of Our Lives” producer. “It’s a bone of contention [for some] that we’re so far ahead, but it was wonderful to not have to go into repeats.”

As a result, “Days Of Our Lives currently has  no plans to focus on the pandemic because of all the unknowns.

“The Young And The Restless”

For fans of “The Young And The Restless” feeling, well, restless about whether the soap opera will feature the pandemic, relax.

Head writer Josh Griffith wins for offering the most hope that life will return to normal soon. With the ongoing vaccine programs and re-opening, he believes that “Young and The Restless” can film normally again soon.

“We’re moving in that direction, for sure,” he promised.

Do you think COVID will strike one of our fictional soap opera towns?  Have you noticed changes in scenes since the pandemic started?  Let us know in the comments below!

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