Many large-scale events, such as festivals South by Southwest, Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, and Coachella have been cancelled or postponed. Some offices are encouraging employees to work from home, leading to lots of Skype meetings. (And, okay, lots of time in pajamas.) Certain schools have shut down temporarily to contain potential spread.
There is no doubt that life under the coronavirus can be stressful and yes, at times, very scary. In a strange twist, however, some people are seeking out films about pandemics to watch while more news about the coronavirus unfolds. Case in point: Contagion, a 2011 film by Steven Soderbergh, became one of the most-rented films on iTunes in the wake of the coronavirus.
Why, exactly, Contagion became something people wanted to watch given the circumstances may be a mystery to you — or maybe not. Perhaps you want to watch something that reflects the most extreme version of what the world is dealing with right now, if only to see how film characters manage during these difficult times. Maybe you’re just curious about how accurately these movies depict an outbreak or pandemic. (Spoiler: Few do.)
No matter your reason for seeking these films out, it’s important to remember that they’re just that: Movies, and not a real-life look into the future, nor a guidebook for how to deal with coronavirus stress. Wash your hands, stop touching your face, and if you think these movies will provide solace, check them out.