Contagion: Should You Watch It?

It is crazy to think that a movie released in 2011, can be so similar to real circumstances in 2020. Thankfully, COVID-19 is not as severe as what we see in the film, however, I in no way am trying to downplay the horrific circumstances some are facing as a result of the outbreak. For that, my prayers are with you.

If you haven't seen the film, the basic synopsis is simple. Starting at one person, a deadly disease dubbed MEV-1 quickly spreads to a pandemic and we follow the interweaving stories that occur as a result. Catch the full trailer from Warner Bros below.

9 years later, wherever you are in the world, you're likely to have had your life massively affected by COVID-19. Whether that is restricted movement and social distancing, banned products or a limited selection of goods, somehow COVID-19 has touched your life. Seeing this film very recently (having already seen it), I  watched it with different eyes. I thought about the pros and cons of seeing the movie, during the current global situation. Here are my thoughts on that:

You Should Watch It Because:

During the first 30 minutes of the film, there is a great emphasis on how fast and easily the disease spreads. Most of the infected contract MEV-1 from human contact, surfaces and being in close proximity to others with the virus - even when they don't know they have it. Sound familiar? We've all heard and read the instruction from the World Health Organisation and your local governments, but the distinctive Steven Soderbergh style that brings it to life visually really makes a difference.

It is made abundantly obvious as to how something as simple and quick as a touch on bus hand-pole, or the blow on casino dice for luck can cause such an outbreak, completely unbeknown to us until the deadly symptoms show. Again, thankfully, seizures and foaming at the mouth are not symptoms of COVID-19.

What is also relevant and eye-opening is the work of the individuals behind-the-scenes of it all. The discussions on how they communicate to the public, the search for the relevant facilities, the preparation in expectation of what is to come and the internal battles of budgets and big personalities adds to the strain of what is already a large-scale project. It's so important to keep the key individuals in our prayers. Staying healthy is not their only priority.

You Shouldn't Watch It If:

It is obvious that you cannot hide from hearing about COVID-19. It is everywhere - the news, social media and in-between episodes of your favourite binge-worthy show. There is enough to scare you. If you don't to be reminded of the dangers of touching anything unknown, lack of social distancing or financial and economic woes that can be attributed to the outbreak. If you need a break from all of this, then this movie is not for you.

Also, if you are prone to stress, anxiety, panic attacks or hygiene-focused obsessive compulsive disorder, this I strongly suggest staying away. This film is largely about panic - not only regarding the disease, but about looting, safety and death. You have been warned.

COVID-19 is a global problem. There is nothing that can be understated on the severity of the disease, but, you can either witness the spread of a similar, albeit fictional virus or choose to turn away from it and stick to the positives. The choice is yours.