2020 started quite “well”. The world was brought to the brink of starting WWIII and we now face a pandemic that may affect half of the population of the world. It seems that the world is about to end. Well, it is the premise of the film that has been referenced quite often recently thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak that is currently happening in over 100 countries on 6 continents.
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to light up fires in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, the world has nothing else to do but to prepare and discuss. The surge of popularity of the movie Contagion has been quite sudden yet explainable. You see, many people are comparing the unfolding of current events to what was shown in the movie. Strangely (well, not really), the events of the movie show what is happening right now quite well.
After 10 years of quietly collecting digital dust on streaming services, Contagion is becoming the new hit for millions of people all over the globe.
The events of the film
The cast of the movie is more packed with stars with the sky on a starry night. The film features Kate Winslett, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Marion Cotillard as well as fan-favorite Laurence Fishbourne. They are playing people affected by the outbreak and fighting it in various parts of the planet while the global pandemic starts consuming it.
When Beth Emhoff played by Gwyneth Paltrow comes back to America after spending some time in Hong Kong. She spends a lovely evening with her ex. Then, she suddenly starts feeling sick and dies within 24 hours. Her son is also infected and follows his mother quickly. The husband of Beth Mitch (Matt Damon) is tested for the virus but he is totally healthy meaning that he is probably immune.
As the virus starts spreading across the planet, the civil unrest grows and the world falls into panic. The vaccine is too hard to produce and the world is lacking resources to fight the disease effectively. The ensuing chaos is a depiction of what the world could become in case of a wide-scale pandemic.
The real-life copying art
The beginning of the outbreak in China and the spread of the virus to other continents is the premise of the movie. However, it is exactly what is happening right now. COVID-19 started in Wuhan about three months ago. Just a month ago many believed that it will be contained in Mainland China. However, the virus affected South Korea, Italy, and Iran as well as many other countries that are expecting to see thousands of cases within the next several weeks.
Italy was like a nightmare as described by one of the doctors who decided to write a long blog post detailing what it is like to be a health worker during the outbreak. It is still early to start a global panic, but the slow pace of the events in the beginning and escalation in weeks following the first case definitely seem very familiar to those who have seen Contagion.
Why is it important?
Some people seem to be overly calm about the whole ordeal. While Italy is quarantining whole regions and Iran shutting down the economy and education to fight the disease, countries like the US, UK, and France don’t really commit to any preventive measures. The public is even more irresponsible with people who caught the virus going to parties and traveling to resorts spreading the virus even further.
Some panic won’t be a big deal yet may warn a lot of people of the dangers that a pandemic can cause. Watching the events of the movie unfolding in front of your very eyes and comparing them to what is happening right now is a wake-up call that can make you a little bit more careful in these trying times.