The outbreak of COVID-19 has caught the world on the wrong foot. Even the governments had no clue and not ready to deal with a pandemic. However, every day the number of positive cases and deaths are on the rise globally. It’s complete mayhem out there as the current situation is beyond what anyone can fathom.
However, for those who have seen the 2011 film Contagion, it’s nothing but a déjà vu moment! The film stars Matt Damon, Anna Jacoby-Heron, and Jude Law. Damon plays a regular family man struggling to make it out of a pandemic outbreak. Goosebumps will be on the cards if you think of watching it now.
Too Close To Reality
Scott Burns, the writer of the film and Steven Soderbergh, had plans to churn out something close to reality. However, the film turning into a reality this soon is not something he might have foreseen. The writers took into account every tiny detail and shot every scene with perfection by consulting several epidemiological experts. Their main objective was to present an accurate picture to the viewers so that they could point out the facts to the political leaders.
They were hoping that governments will work towards handling things better if there were ever a virus outbreak. Laurie Garrett, a health expert who gave her suggestions to the filmmakers, shared this detail. Garrett is the author of the popular book The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Her work became a best-seller in the year 1994.
A Hypothetical Virus That Almost Came True
When the writers were working on the script, they thought of relating the bug to the flu virus. This was to draw a connection with the flu that took millions of life around a century ago. However, swine flu, which also belongs to the H1N1 family, hit two years before the release of the film, making it relevant even to that virus. Luckily, not many fell prey to it. Therefore, use it as the base made no sense. The guys behind the camera decided to base the film on a possible virus that had its origin in Hong Kong. According to Garrett, Asia has been the hub of different diseases. Climate change and deforestation have had a toll on bats and birds, and that was never going to be a good sign. Contagion has a scene where a pig eats a piece of fruit that was half-eaten by a bat. Humans then slaughter and consume this meat, thus contributing to the outbreak. The virus eventually gets transferred from bats to human beings.
An Accurate Prediction
According to scientists, coronavirus could also have its origin in this mammal, as it has a high index of deadly viruses is present in its saliva. These viruses, quite surprisingly, don’t harm the bats. They serve actually as a defense mechanism for them so that they can protect themselves from the predators.
Contagion is so predictive because of the way it has represented more or less the exact events and the behaviors associated with a pandemic of such stature. The movie gives you a glimpse of what happened in the past and what the future might hold! Garrett has encountered 30 epidemics to date, and she says that things have almost remained the same every time.
The Prediction About Behavioral Changes
Jude Law portrays the character of an unethical blogger who is firm of the opinion that a flowering plant named forsythia can kill the lethal virus. If you take a look at real life, you would surely know some personalities who are toeing the same line.
This time, it’s some elixir that they are peddling on TV. There are different psychological behaviors that you can notice during a virus outbreak. Contagion has captured them brilliantly, and there isn’t a shade of doubt with that. Garrett also relayed that this can be a conspiracy theory and says that the coronavirus might have originated in a weapons lab in China. The recent facts that have been coming out are suggesting that as well.
Contagion is a blueprint for what’s been happening in 2020. The world was not ready for the COVID-19 outbreak. One could say that’s a result of negligence and ignorance. However, what we together as humanity can do now is to make sure we fight the pandemic by keeping up with the advice from the healthcare providers. In the future, we can only hope the governments are ready to combat a situation like this better.