Thrillers have warned us, yet teach us


Photo credit: World Science Festival

By Kristen Marshal


     Picture an empty world without people on the streets. No laughter or sounds of cars passing by. Just eternal silence as every person stays in their homes in fear of the terrifying plague outside. This is the world everyone is living in right now because of COVID-19, more popularly known as the Coronavirus.
Some might wish or hope that we had a sign before any of this happened, some sort of clue or warning to prevent the virus from spreading too much. There have been many signs and warnings in the form of movies such as “Outbreak” and “Contagion.”

     In the 1995 film, “Outbreak,” a deadly airborne virus threatens the lives of people around the world after an African monkey carrying the virus is stolen and brought to a California town where the outbreak begins. In the hope of controlling the disease, doctors and scientists alike look for a cure for the disease as the death rate continues to rise and a quarantine worries the population.
     Sound familiar?
     If citizens had taken the proper health precautions such as washing their hands, preventing social gatherings, and other cautionary steps, the virus would not have spread as quickly and as much. Furthermore, if the smuggler had not stolen the monkey in the first place, the virus would have died with the monkey.

     This is similar to the situation with COVID-19. If people had been practicing better hygiene, the virus could have been prevented from becoming this horrifying.
COVID-19 is truly a horror movie come to life as there are still people who do not care and don’t take the proper precautions as advised by medical professionals and the government. People should use movies such as “Outbreak” as a warning to what occurs when even one wrong health step can cause a chain reaction or domino effect on others. 

     However, do not take these horror movies as a reason to panic. People must remain calm and have hope while also staying safe at home.
     The 2011 film, “Contagion,” was also a warning that a virus like this could occur. In the film a deadly pandemic is spread globally as doctors try to contain it even though society slowly disintegrates.
     Once again, does this sound familiar?
     The moral of these movies:  be extremely cautious of what you do daily.

     In the case of our pandemic, it is vital to use this shutdown as lessons in patience, empathy and endurance.