The horror film mirrors COVID-19
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
As I was writing this story, COVID-19 was classified as a pandemic and it is worse than I thought it would be. Everyone should take action to make sure that no one gets it. According to CBC News, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is similar to SARS. It is suggested to have originated from bats, and was first identified from a seafood market in Wuhan, China. This is similar to what caused the virus in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion—where a bat infected a banana, the fruit fell from its tree, a pig ate it, was then turned into meat, and then served to customers in a restaurant.
The film was released two years after the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. When I found out more information about the coronavirus, I realized that the film predicted that it was going to happen. The movie shows the many aspects of what happens in a pandemic—it shows how government officials handle it, how their decisions will affect the outcome of the virus, as well as how conspiracy theories make the crisis worse.
In the scenes where the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have meetings with government officials, you see them trying to think of a way to minimize the impact of the virus as well finding the source of it. Then, you see them investigating by working with other world organizations—including the World Health Organization. They interview people and use clues to track the path of the virus. Producing a vaccine takes a while and a lot of hard work.
The fears of a pandemic can lead to people going to extreme measures to protect themselves—even if their fears are unjustified because they got information from unreliable sources. Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) is an example of the potential problems due to misinformation. He shows that he cured himself with the homeopathic remedy Forsythia, and that led to a lot of people buying the medicine—but it was revealed later that he made it up. This is similar to the false information that stated that the shortage of protective masks would lead to a shortage of bathroom tissue because they are made from the same material.In truth, there are still enough materials to make bathroom tissue. Everyone should not panic and buy too much of it.
Contagion is becoming a reality in some ways, and it is a film I would recommend watching if you’d like to learn some important messages about pandemics during this time of the Coronavirus. Also, do the essential sanitary procedures to make sure that you and others can stay safe.