The movie “Contiguion” was not very popular when it was released in 2011, despite the presence of stars and celebrities, including Matt Damon, presence of Lu, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and Michael Douglas. The film ranked sixty-first in terms of the profits that year made worldwide.
However, the movie suddenly returned to the list of the most requested films from Apple’s “iTioner”, due to the high search rate for the movie’s name on Google.
The company, “Warner Brothers”, which produced the film, said that the film was ranked 270 in its directory for last December of the most famous films, after news of the outbreak of Covid-19 began to appear in China. But just three months later, the Contigion movie jumped to eighth, and came right after the Harry Potter movie.
All of this is due to the similarities between the movie script written ten years ago and the actual events of the current Corona Virus outbreak.
Life is a simulation of art
In the movie, a businesswoman dies (performing the role of actress Paltrow) due to a mysterious and deadly virus infection during her trip to China, but not before she unleashes a health emergency worldwide.
Mentioning China as the cradle of the virus is one of many similarities with our reality today, which has boosted the movie’s popularity in recent weeks.
The film was renewed in interest after American actress Gwyneth Paltrow published a picture of herself wearing a muzzle on a transatlantic flight on February 26.
The actress wrote on her Instagram page, which is followed by more than six million followers: “You were actually in this movie, make yourself safe and do not shake hands with anyone and wash your hands often.”
There are amazing similarities between what is happening now and Contigion. In the film, Paltrow became infected with the virus, called “MEV1”, from a chef in Hong Kong who had touched a slaughtered pig, which was transmitted by bats, after the actress shook hands with him.
Then she travels to her country, falls ill and dies soon after. Her son also soon dies, but it turns out that her husband, who plays the role, actor Matt Damon, is immune to a good immune system.
In fact, health experts believe that the transmission from animal to human in the Chinese city of Wuhan was the reason for the outbreak of Covid-19 disease last December.
The Corona virus is believed to have started in a bat, as was the case in the SARS epidemic that erupted between 2002 and 2003. Then it is transferred to humans in other ways and from other animals.
There is no consensus about the type of these other animals. In the Contigion movie, it was a pig, but the Chinese authorities have designated a market for the city’s live animals as the “zero point” from which the disease began.
Like the current strain of the Coronavirus that causes Covid-19, the phantom virus was also found through close contact between humans or by touching contaminated surfaces.
Real life suggestion
The two diseases, placebo and real, caused respiratory problems, but the MEV-1 virus was the result of a real virus called NIPA, which is not from the same family of viruses as Covid-19.
The current virus is far less deadly than the placebo virus in the movie.
The death rate is 25 percent in the movie, while it is believed that Covid-19’s death rate is currently estimated at about 3.4 percent, according to the World Health Organization.
In the movie, the placebo virus kills 26 million people worldwide within one month. While the number of deaths due to the Corona virus has not reached four thousand since the outbreak in China three months ago.
The only epidemic similar to the movie throughout history was the 1918 “Spanish Flu” epidemic, which killed more than 50 million people.
When a virus is suspected to be spread in the film, staff are sent out from the epidemic intelligence service, a real organization that tries to identify and isolate infected people.
In the movie, the American city of Chicago was quarantined, which reflects the massive closures that occurred in China.
Italy has also isolated several northern regions in an attempt to counter the spread of Covid-19.
Fear and negative effects
The movie’s renewed movie star Contigion surprised Scott Burns.
But in an interview with “Fortune” magazine, he said that the original idea of the film is to show that modern society is vulnerable to such diseases.
Burns said: “The similarities between Corona virus infection are unintended, but the most important and sensitive is the response of society and the spread of fear and the side effects of that.”
Perhaps with this talk, he was referring to a certain character in the movie: a blogger named Alan Cromoyd. Cromoid (who plays the role of Jude Law) publishes unfounded rumors of the virus and launches a fake treatment campaign for him.
Parallel to the reality, the Amazon electronic giant recently announced that it had blocked sales of more than a million items on its site due to false allegations in which its owners claim that their merchandise helps prevent Covid-19 infection.
The famous American TV personality, Jim Packer, has had a problem with New York State authorities this week after he promoted a silver tonic as a treatment for the virus.
The current outbreak has sparked a chain of false news that the virus was originally developed as a chemical weapon.
Burns himself became the target of conspiracy theory.
He told the New York Times that some people had sent him messages on social media accusing him of being a member of a secret organization to control global affairs.
“I remember feeling very concerned that the spread of misinformation could be as much and dangerous as a virus,” Burns says.
Contigion’s popularity can also be explained by Burns ’commitment to making his film credible. Burns consulted a team of virologists and epidemiologists, including WHO experts, while writing the script, and they had meaningful advice and information.
Burns told the Hollywood Reporter that when he spoke to experts in the field, they all told him that the outbreak was not an issue. What if? Rather, the question of when?