THE MOVIE CONTAGION (2011) accurately predicted some aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, the movie is meant to be entertaining and has a happy ending. (Spoiler alert: I’m going to reveal some details of the film.)
Nobody needed a crystal ball to predict the film’s fictional epidemic. It was obvious to anyone who watched the SARS pandemic of 2003. The movie’s screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns, conducted months of in-depth research into the science of pandemics and recruited epidemiologists to develop a realistic plot, edit the script, and train the actors who would portray health officials, doctors and scientists.
The SARS-CoV-1 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a model for the film. Like all coronavirus outbreaks, including the film’s fictional one called MEV-1, it’s thought to have originated from bats that spread to other animals. In Contagion, the spread of MEV-1 is traced to pigs which have been infected by bats.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.