I've always been a fan of conspiracy theories and have always been intrigued by the mysterious and unknown. Was 9/11 an inside job or was it a terrorist attack? or maybe the towers fell because our flat earth couldn’t handle their weight? or are all of these just errors in the alien-made simulation we live in? These are just some of the theories I find myself googling at night when I should’ve probably been sleeping to get to work the next morning.
When I finally pull myself out of this black hole and convince myself to sleep; I would most probably see some wacky dream about me fighting a bunch of aliens with a chicken shawarma sandwich and saving the world. I would then be woken up by the sound of my alarm; it would take me a minute to adjust and realize that I’m in the real world and that everything is safe and sound.
Conspiracy theories would always freak me out, but they always had a feeling of comfort attached to them — they always remained theories — with no proof of their existence. So, when I was at work a couple of days ago, and one of my colleagues suggested that I watch the movie Contagion as it talked about a virus that was spreading like crazy and killing everyone, I happily obliged. I had no worries; how similar could it be to everything we are experiencing now with Coronavirus? But then, I watched it, and within the first 5 minutes; I could assure you I have never ever been freaked out the same way I have while watching this movie.
If I would’ve watched this movie 5 years from now, I swear I would have thought it was a documentation of our lives during COVID-19. Everything is so similar that you can’t help but question if it’s just a coincidence, or has it always been a plan of some underground Thanos-like mysterious government which wanted to destroy half of humanity to limit pollution (Excuse me for the Avengers reference here).
So, after 2 hours of watching this movie and getting overwhelmed by all its accurately disturbing moments; I would like to share those moments with you and give you a taste of what I have been experiencing these past couple of hours!
JK! you know most of this already!
The spread of the virus
In the opening scene of the movie we come across a bunch of characters, and all of them happen to be dealing with some type of “flu”. One of our characters, Gwyneth Paltrow, is at the airport, waiting in transit in Chicago to head back to Indianapolis, after a long trip in the CHINESE city Hong Kong. Does that ring a bell to you? Hold on tight, it's only the beginning. After that, we see other characters interacting with her and going about their normal lives. In a matter of days, the death count begins.
The World Health Organization
After a week of people mysteriously dying, the WHO decides to investigate the cases, runs a bunch of scientific tests, and figures out there is a virus that is spreading across the world. They trace it back to find that it most probably was the result of a bat and a pig interacting with each other and a human in Hong Kong. The public is still not informed about this and a US military official makes it clear that they won’t be anytime soon when he says “We will make sure nobody knows, till everybody knows”. I’ll leave it to that.
The safety precautions
When a doctor in the movie was asked what to do, to prevent the spread of this virus, her answer was: wash your hands, don’t touch your mouth, nose, or face, avoid crowded places, wear a face mask, and practice social-distancing. Throughout the movie, as everyone was constantly advised to do so, I somehow felt it was directed to me as well.
The world stopping
This had to be the most heartbreaking moment in the movie for me, when things start going out of control, and 2.5 million in the United States alone are dead (thank God the virus isn’t as intense in real life as it was in the movie). The government declares a mandatory curfew on the whole country. In this scene, we see empty schools, churches, mosques, gyms, workplaces, and streets. This scene was so surreal for me to watch as I know everyone reading this now, feels the severity of what we are experiencing these days.
Another moment that really stuck with me, was when one of the characters said “Rumors are far more dangerous than the disease”. In the movie, people start spreading all kinds of rumors, they keep saying that the US found a medicine and is not telling anyone about it, or that the whole thing is genetically engineered. As the rumors increase, people panic, and the fear of fear outweighs the fear of the virus. This is mainly what brings everyone to their doom in the movie, so I hope we learn from the mistakes of these characters.
Up till this moment in the movie, I felt like I experienced all of it. But as the movie comes to an end, I start to see things that I pray to God won’t be happening in real life. We start to see people breaking in pharmacies, and grocery stores. Garbage taking over the streets, nurses going on strikes because they fear losing their lives. Criminals start attacking people in their homes, people being buried in communal grounds without their families, and the world is no longer a safe place. At this point, the movie starts turning into a scene from the Hunger Games.
As all of this is happening, and humanity is on the edge of losing hope, a scientist finally discovers a vaccine. But as it will take months for it to be tested; she takes it upon herself to inject herself with it, and willingly enters a quarantined zone so she can catch the virus and test it on herself. Fortunately, her plan succeeds and the world is saved. So, maybe right now, there is a young scientist taking it upon him or herself to save us all.
I really believe that this movie will always be remembered in cinematic history. And I’m pretty sure the producers of the movie would’ve never guessed the accuracy of what they were creating, given that it was produced in 2011.In an interview with the writer, Scott Z Burns, he speaks about how the world was already overdue for a major pandemic as we are not practicing good hygiene and are not taking serious measures in regards to global warming. So, maybe the movie was just predicting the fate of humanity if they don’t take care of their planet Earth, and unfortunately, it looks like we didn’t do a great job.
While I will always be a “skeptical”, I will also always believe that everything happens for a reason, and I hope that the reason is that the Earth is giving us a wakeup call, and that the world needs a break to heal itself. So, I hope we take everything this movie tries to tell us with an open eye and take all the necessary health and safety precautions so that Contagion doesn’t become our full-fledged reality.
Stay home, stay safe!
What do you think?
Did you watch the movie Contagion? Was it all a coincidence? Or is this just the natural evolution of bad human behavior? Tell us your thoughts in the comments down below!