‘Contagion’ Scientific Adviser on the Coronavirus Pandemic: ‘It’s What We’ve Been Warning People About for 20 Years’

by Jeremy Spirogis
the Coronavirus pandemic

Although Steven Soderbergh’s movie Contagion got here out in 2011, right here in 2020, the film looks like our new actuality. Since the information of the COVID-19 pandemic began up, virus-themed thrillers like Contagion and Outbreak are all of a sudden common. An skilled who supplied scientific recommendation on Contagion was not too long ago interviewed about her time on the film, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic. She stated her work on Contagion — and lots of different issues public well being consultants have been doing for years — had been an effort to warn the world that one thing like this might occur.

the Coronavirus pandemic
A coronavirus disaster volunteer in New York| John Moore/Getty Images

‘Contagion’ put within the analysis to make the 2011 film life like

Tracey McNamara is a veterinary pathologist. She additionally served as an adviser on 2011’s Contagion, and he or she spoke with BuzzFeed News final month about COVID-19. BuzzFeed experiences that on Contagion, “McNamara gave input in order to make the fictional disease seem as realistic as possible.”

“She said that she made suggestions regarding different plot points and specific scientific logistics … early on in the film’s development,” the publication continued. What this implies now? The 2011 film feels hauntingly near residence, in mild of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The movie really rang true, and now that we’re dealing with coronavirus, it really captured when you’re dealing with something unknown,” McNamara defined. But she additionally had a phrase of warning:

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Contagion trailer

… You’re going to listen to lots of people making all kinds of proclamations and bulletins, and at any time when somebody says one thing a couple of brand-new, beforehand unknown virus, I believe, ‘You ought to select your phrases fastidiously. You might must eat them.

The Contagion skilled referred to as out a line from the film she particularly cherished, as effectively. McNamara stated the idea actually “rang true.”

When the CDC scientist within the movie explains that “Mother Nature weaponized” the virus, McNamara says “that’s also very, very real.” It’s been on her thoughts–and the minds of different scientists for many years.

“That’s what we’ve been warning people about for 20 years,” McNamara advised BuzzFeed.

Scientific adviser talks concerning the COVID-19 outbreak

What lesson does the Contagion scientific adviser need us to study from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic?

Contagion cast at the movie premiereContagion cast at the movie premiere
Actors Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and director Steven Soderbergh from Contagion| Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

“I think the lesson that will come out of this is we need to have another look at how we respond to rapidly evolving novel disease threats,” McNamara defined. However, she wished we already discovered that lesson from watching Contagion. She lamented to BuzzFeed News:

I want individuals had paid nearer consideration to it when the movie got here out, as a result of it actually was a warning to the federal authorities that this might occur and you should put together.

Sometimes, you simply must study the lesson the onerous manner.

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