The crisis of the new, deadly coronavirus has taken many people to sleep – and unfortunately many governments – but those who have watched the 2011 Contagion movie will certainly notice the horrifying and creepy details that refer to what we are experiencing today.
The film captures through the eyes of an ordinary family man (played by Matt Damon) the timing of the outbreak of a human-transmitted virus from an infected bat in Hong Kong. The creators of Contagion, including director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns, set out to make a film that was as realistic as possible and did so in part because they sought the advice of epidemiologists. “They wanted to give the world as accurate a picture as possible, hoping to mobilize political leadership,” one of the experts, former filmmaker Lori Garrett, told the New York Post. Foreign Affairs Council author and bestselling author “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance”, released in 1994.
The Contagion trailer for the prophetic movie about the coronavirus
In the early version of the scenario, the virus would be linked to the flu virus that killed millions in 1918. But that all changed when the H1N1 swine flu virus struck in 2009, fortunately with few victims. “It wasn't a super infectious strain and it didn't make much sense to use it in the film, because humanity had just faced it.” This is how the script was rewritten, focusing on a hypothetical virus originating in Hong Kong, whose features for the film were designed with the help of the director of the Columbia Infections and Immunology Center, Ian Lippkin.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sYSyuuLk5g (/ embed)
“Contagion”: The virus goes from bat to pig and from there to man
“We have generally seen many diseases come from Asia because of the turbulence in that part of the world. Bats and birds are very stressed due to deforestation and climate change, “says Garrett. In the movie “Contagion” a bat throws a piece of fruit, devouring a pig. The pig then goes to the slaughterhouse to eat his meat, causing the virus to pass to humans. Scientists believe the new killer coronavirus, which has killed more than 11,000 people around the world, may have originated from bats as well. As Garrett put it, “Bats have a high rate of viruses in their saliva.” But none of these viruses harm the bats themselves, as they act as a defensive mechanism to prevent predators.
Consumer panic, unconscious exploiters and conspiracy theories
One of the reasons why Contagion is so prophetic is the parallel stories that evolve, each of which represents events and behaviors that always accompany a pandemic, as Gareth says. “I've been to areas where outbreaks of epidemics have occurred and the same thing is happening again and again. And we will always have scammers on the Internet claiming to have found the cure, “he adds.
In the film, Judd Lo embodies the role of a dishonest blogger, who argues that public opinion has not learned all the truth about what is happening, triggering an epidemic of paranoia and terror just as dangerous as the virus itself. While claiming that one plant, forsythia, can kill the virus …
Judd Lo in Contagion
The film also records the various psychological reactions that accompany the outbreak of an epidemic. “There is always at least one conspiracy theory and they always throw the blame on the CIA, the Pakistanis, or anyone else who comes to mind,” says Garrett, referring to the conspiracy theories that have circulated that coronavirus is a laboratory product and that it was allegedly created as a biologist. .
There are those who believe that the virus is not going to touch them and those who are handed over to panic, such as witnessing the robbery of supermarkets and the disappearance of toilet paper rolls in many countries around the globe, the American expert notes.
Scene from the movie
The global community is unprepared for deliberate ignorance, experts say
But even though the movie “Contagion” was prophetic for those who were expecting it to happen sooner or later, most were unprepared for the new coronavirus pandemic due to willful ignorance. “The hubris, which drives human beings to believe that somehow we will always get it clean and that we will not face a real threat from a germ, is unconscious,” he notes. He argues that the reason we expressed such complacency about the threat of a pandemic is partly due to the fact that the second deadliest scourge of modern-day HIV, which caused the deaths of 32 million people, was not treated as a “warning shot”. only affects homosexuals.
And now that everyone is locked in their homes, it might be an opportunity to re-watch “Contagion” and learn some useful lessons. “It will probably scare you, but I hope it helps,” says Gareth. However, she sends an optimistic message: “Societies do better when faced with scourges, since they all cooperate and take care of each other trying to get out of the nightmare” …
Contagion, what's going on in the movie
In just a few days a deadly and rapidly contagious pandemic is spreading around the world. Despite the diligent efforts of the scientific community, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and all relevant agencies, there is no cure, vaccine or plan to stop the spread of the mysterious virus. At the same time, there is also a dramatic “antidote” to the panic, which has overwhelmed everyone and proved to be as contagious and deadly as the virus, if not more so. In a collapsing world, everyday people try to survive in any way they can.
As one doctor (Jennifer El) explains at the Center for Infectious Diseases of the movie: “Somewhere in the world the wrong pig met the wrong bat”.
The virus is then transmitted from one animal to another and from there to a chef who touches Beth (Guinness Paltrow) without washing his hands.
Beth Ehoff (Guinness Paltrow) returns from a business trip to Hong Kong with a stopover at Chicago airport, where she is in love with her ex-partner. Beth (Guinness Paltrow) falls ill and thinks she is due to the jet lag. She returns to her home in Minneapolis and transmits the virus to Clark's son and her husband Mitch (Matt Damon).
Two days later she is dead in the Emergency Room, when doctors tell Mitch's shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they do not know the cause of her death.
When Beth and Clark die, Mitch (Matt Damon) goes into quarantine where doctors realize he has immunity to the mysterious virus.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong and London, people are starting to experience the same disease and are beginning to manifest mysterious symptoms: severe cough and fever, convulsions and cerebral hemorrhage that lead to death.
In Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, outbreaks are increasing at a rapid rate: one, four, sixteen, hundreds, thousands … The virus is spreading rapidly through countless human days . Pandemic.
The US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are making great efforts to research the virus, which has begun to spread around the world.
Deputy Director Chiver (Lawrence Fishburne) tries to contain the panic that has prevailed in public despite his personal worries, and sends a courageous, young doctor (Kate Winslet) directly to the source of evil.
At the same time, amidst reactions to the potential vaccine, which is the first to try, Dr. Leonora Orandes (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization is trying to analyze the course of the outbreaks that will lead her to the source of the evil they are facing. As the number of victims is increasing rapidly and people are trying to protect themselves and their loved ones in a collapsing society, one blogger (Judd Lo) activist claims that public opinion has not learned all the truth about what it happens, triggering an epidemic of paranoia and terror just as dangerous as the virus itself.
Outbreaks of the virus are threatening and can wipe out the entire population of the earth, unless a vaccine is found to cure it. Scientists struggle with time.