2011 film ‘Contagion’ compared to COVID-19

In 2011, the film Contagion was released. The film is about a virus that, started in China, and spread rapidly throughout the world causing people to get sick and die.

This description is eerily close to the current 2020 pandemic that’s caused by COVID-19.

Starting off, both the viruses attack the respiratory system and have extremely close symptoms. According to cdc.gov, the COVID-19 symptoms are: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell. 

In the film, Dr. Mears, a doctor from Minnesota, is given the job to investigate the virus but ends up catching the virus. Her symptoms were that she couldn’t breathe very well and had a tight chest. She was coughing a lot and she had fever along with chills. She didn’t go into more depth, but in the film, you can see other people that caught the virus shared the same symptoms and died usually by seizure.

Next, both viruses came from bats. There is no clear answer as to how COVID-19 started, but most scientists say, and believe, it started from a virus that bats carried and then transferred to someone from Wuhan, China. This then developed into something more dangerous that was passed onto other humans. 

In the film, a fruit had fallen from a bat’s mouth into a pig pen. The pig then ate the fruit and there, the virus started developing. The pig was then slaughtered and brought to a casino in Hong Kong, China where the cook touched the pig and didn’t stop to wash his hands before holding someone else’s.

The pandemic in the film and in reality both put the whole world in chaos and had extremely close similarities, but there were also things the film did differently. Beth Emhoff, the first case of the virus in the movie, went home to Minnesota and gave her family the virus. Her son passed shortly after she did, but we learned that her husband was immune. Currently there isn’t a known person that’s immune to the Coronavirus.

Also, in the film, people died within a day to 3 days of getting the virus, whereas COVID-19 seems to have a 2 week incubation period. People would get seizures and their mouths would start to foam as they die in the movie, but there hasn’t been any reports of seizures due to COVID-19.

Contagion and COVID-19 are extremely similar, but thankfully it’s not exactly the same. The film had it much worse, but the things leading up to the chaos were eerily close. 

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