Movies that Predicted the COVID-19 Panic: Cold and Contagion
Movies that Predicted the COVID-19 Panic: Cold and Contagion
  • 김은서 기자
  • 승인 2020.04.29 09:00
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(Distributor-i Love Cinema) Movie Cold poster
(Distributor-i Love Cinema) Movie Cold poster
(Distributor-Warner Bros) Movie Contagion poster
(Distributor-Warner Bros) Movie Contagion poster

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in February, people around the world were terrified. In fact, over 100,000 people had died up to that point, and countless people were indirectly and directly damaged. Movies that seemed to predict this tragic situation have become popular again online. Two films in particular, Contagion made by America and Cold made by Korea are getting a lot of views recently.

The movie Contagion mirrors the speculated cause of the Coronavirus accurately. The cause of the virus in the movie begins with bats. Surprisingly, the cause of the virus spread in the movie is similar to that of the Coronavirus in reality. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) analyzed the genetic sequence of the virus and confirmed that bat’s genes have 89.1 percent compatibility with the Coronavirus.

In addition, the movie depicts the chaotic response of the society and world. In Contagion, an influential blogger makes people confused by falsely introducing a medicine on his blog. Actually, one of the scenes is similar to the real confusion experienced in Korea. Social media users have uploaded postings about fake cases and false epidemiological investigation results. There has also been a spreading of rumors slandering good people who want to help sick people. Furthermore, some vendors sell healthy supplements, advertising that they improves immunity to overcome the virus with groundless reason.

Both movies Contagion and Cold, portray the methods of spreading infectious viruses similar to how Coronavirus spreads. In those movies, people get the virus through the respiratory system and hand contact. In the real world, the Coronavirus is known to spread through humans’ respiratory tracts and by the hand contact, too.

Finally, both films dramatically detail scenes showing people’s anxieties. Both films show scenes in which people buy or violently take too many supplies from the supermarkets and convenience stores. This scene really happened in the U.K, U.S, and Australia. People were hurried to buy toilet papers and stock up on supplies. Also, this reminds us of ‘the chaos of face masks’ in Korea. Initially, Korean people bought masks in bulk to store their houses. Many psychologists explain that this situation occurs because of the panic about the virus.

Through the scenes mentioned above, lots of people say that the movies seem to foresee reality. In particular, as shown in the movies, the situation of infodemic, such as fake news and rumors is socially detrimental. Hopefully, all citizens of the world can overcome this panic wisely, taking lessons from the movies so that the tragic scenes in the above do not take place in reality.


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