Contagion is giving people déjà vu

Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 movie perfectly predicted the 2020 coronavirus pandemic

By Author  |  Published: 25th Mar 2020  6:30 pm

If you are home and don’t get easily scared and panicky, you should just get on to Amazon Prime and watch the movie Contagion. While people are in shock with the outbreak of coronavirus and the deaths around the world, what’s also shocking is that there’s a movie that predicted it almost 10 years ago.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, it features an ensemble star cast like Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard. The movie was decently successful then but not even Soderbergh would have imagined that it would become such a hit now. Millennials are watching and rewatching the movie like never before.

The film begins with a woman – Gwyneth Paltrow – returning from a business trip to Hong Kong and feeling sick. She has seizures and dies in the hospital, of unknown causes, within two days. Her husband – Matt Damon – is in shock. So are the doctors in Minnesota. He returns home from the hospital to find out that his stepson is dead too. However, Matt’s character remains immune to the disease. Doctors soon figure out that it’s a respiratory virus from Hong Kong and that it spreads through fomites. Officials also believe that it could be a bioweapon. Rings a bell?

Sadly, Winslet’s character, a doctor, dies treating people. Jude Law’s character falsely claims that he cured himself of the virus. Much like what’s happening now! Scenes of quarantine, isolation and supermarket fights will only give you a deepening sense of déjà vu. Not to forget people wearing masks and using sanitisers.

It is soon found out in the movie that the virus spread through a bat that dropped a piece of banana which was eaten by a pig. The pig is cooked by a chef who shakes hands with Gwyneth’s character! While one might panic knowing that 26 million people died worldwide in the movie, there might be some relief knowing that a vaccine is soon invented. And successfully so!

Here’s what people who watched Contagion have to say:

Contagion

“The movie shows accurately what’s happening today. While many didn’t watch the movie then, there’s a curiosity to watch it now. Contagion showed everything – from lockdowns and experimentation to how the virus spreads. It’s like the makers of the movie time-travelled.”

– Thanusha Mohan, student counsellor, Global University Systems

“Contagion predicted our current situation long ago. I feel more people should watch the movie for awareness. I watched it a couple of nights ago and connected it to our present situation, especially the scenes on panic-buying at supermarkets, etc.”

– Shaik Faheem, Sr Risk Investigator, Amazon

“I feel someone got inspired by the movie and created this current situation! How else is it possible that a movie predicted everything that’s happening currently, 9 years ago?”

– Chandrika Devi, homemaker


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