7 Shows to Watch to Understand the Covid-19 situation

Pandemic movies and series to know the severity of Covid-19

By Aey
7 Shows to Watch to Understand the Covid-19 situation

Summary of Pandemic Outbreaks

The year 2020 has turned out to be anything but expected, from the Australian bushfires to tweets about world war III, the world has come to a standstill not by use of power or nuclear weapons but ironically through a pandemic. A disease, an illness, not visible to the human eye; affecting almost every country and part of the world. Taking a look back at history, the world has been brought to its knees, to a halt with other diseases. One such example is the ‘Plague of Athens’ in 430 B.C, causing a total of 100,000 deaths and lasting over 5 years, not sparing the young or healthy. In the 165-180 AD, the Roman soldiers brought back with them the ‘Antonine plague’ causing a total of 5 million deaths in the Roman Empire.

 Similarly, a pandemic known to be ‘The Black Death’ spread from Asia to Europe and is said to have wiped out half of the European population of the time from 1346-1353. Taking a jump forward, the ‘Flu pandemic’ of 1889-1890 in a matter of months, spread across the world and killed around 1 million people. Recently, in the years 2009-2010, the H1N1 swine flu wreaked havoc with infecting 1.4 billion people across the world and as per CDC killing 151,700 to 575,400 people. So, Covid-19 as we all know it, might in its form be something completely new to the world but its havoc is creating a pandemic.

Sitting at home in self-isolation and quarantine can indeed get frustrating. Whilst, you might not want to read books or articles explaining the situation of covid-19, we thought it is best to suggest a few shows or movies about pandemics for you to understand the situation we find ourselves in. 

7 Shows to Watch to Understand the Covid-19 situation

1. 93 days

This 2016 film is a direction and co-production of Steve Gukas. The plot covers the Ebola outbreak of 2014 in Nigeria and follows as to how it was successfully contained by hospital workers from Lagos. Having been imported to Nigeria through a ‘Liberian-American’ diplomat, the story covers how this epidemic was contained and how the men and women risked their lives to stop the spread of the deadly virus. It shows the sacrifices made by the people and the relentless efforts of the health workers to save the 21 million people of the megacity. Based on a true story, this movie aims to encapsulate the seriousness of epidemics and shows how they are fought to keep the world safe from massacres.  

You can watch it on Netflix and Amazon prime.

2. Contagion

Contagion is perhaps one of the most talked-about movies since the covid-19 outbreak. Most people believe that the covid-19 situation reminds them of the plot of the movie with directions of Steven Soderbergh and the stellar cast including Matt Damon. This 2011 film shows a virus outbreak transmitted through fomites and the story navigates the attempts made by health officials and researchers to contain the virus. To perfect the plot, the writer and filmmaker went as far as to consult epidemiological experts to make the movie as realistic as possible. The idea behind the movie was to depict a virus such as the SARS outbreak of 2002-2004 or the flu pandemic of 2009. Not only was the film loved by critics but even scientists praised it for its accuracy and thus we believe this will not just provide you with entertainment but will help provide you knowledge as well. It depicts a stark correlation to the covid-19 situation as a woman returns to the US from a trip to Hong Kong and dies mysteriously, only for doctors to find out later about the virus.

You can watch it on Netflix, Amazon prime and Hulu.

3. Pandemic: How to prevent an outbreak

This Netflix docuseries released in 2020 is probably the most ideal watch to not just understand the outbreak of pandemics but also to understand the prevention of outbreaks in these testing times. This 6 episode series introduces its viewers to men and women working towards the battle of influenza and shows their sustained efforts to fight against this pandemic. Around 50 minutes an episode, it firstly sheds light on doctors working in the US and Asia and working against the flu and researchers finding vaccines to prevent the outbreak. The second episode focuses on the Ebola virus in Congo and influenza that broke out in US- Mexico detainee camps. It further moves towards finding vaccines, funding cuts, faith and family in times of outbreak and the success and setbacks. With a 6.3 IMDB rating, this documentary-series provides knowledge and is a good time pass for this quarantine.

You can watch it on Netflix.

4. The Hot Zone (Mini-series)

Based on the book ‘The Hot Zone’ by Richard Preston, this miniseries follows the outbreak of the Ebola virus. Aired on national geographic from 27 to 29th May 2019, the plot of the show is set in 1989 and follows the outbreak of Ebola in monkeys found in a research lab in Washington DC. The reviews are great as the series finds itself with an 85% rating on rotten tomatoes and critics say that it reminds people as to how deadly a disease outbreak can be. Fighting to prevent the outbreak of the deadly disease, this miniseries covers the outbreak, the quarantine, the research processes and the fight with the media in depth. The book, however, was far better in its description of the events but the miniseries did not disappoint viewers.

You can watch it on National geographic (for US users) and Amazon prime.

5. Outbreak

Just like the ‘Hot zone (mini-series) mentioned above, the ‘outbreak’ is also a depiction of the book ‘The Hot Zone’ by Richard Preston. However, unlike the mini-series above, this is a 2 hours and 7 minutes long movie, by Wolfgang Peterson, starring the famous Morgan Freeman amongst others. The pandemic in this movie is called ‘Matoba’ which is a fictional virus, something on the lines of Ebola. It follows the outbreak of the virus in a small town of the United States and further shows how the military and civilians act in different ways to contain the deadly virus to save humanity.

You can watch it on Netflix and Amazon prime.

6. Flu

This 2013 film is a South Korean depiction of an outbreak of a deadly virus called the flu. The plot is set in the district Bundang of city Seongnam and revolves around 2 brothers finding illegal immigrants dead in a shipping container but the cause is unknown. It then follows the outbreak of the flu which ends up killing its victims in 36 hours. It shows the airborne disease leading to a quarantine, difficult living conditions, and persistent hard work of the medical staff to save the 1 million people living in the area from being infected. This 121-minute long movie with a 6.7 IMDB rating did pretty well on the box office and helps to understand quarantine and outbreak situations well.

You can watch it on Netflix and Amazon prime.

7. Virus

This 2019 Indian movie is based on true events and depicts the outbreak of the 2018 Nipah virus in Kerala. The plot revolves around a man who is infected with an unknown virus and is then brought to the Government Medical College of Kozhikode. However, just after a few hours, he dies but before that he transmits the virus to 18 other people, out of which 16 of them (including him) die. The movie then goes on to show how the local community went further to put in all their efforts to stop the spread of the virus to avoid further catastrophes.

You can watch it on Amazon prime.

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Having not seen the world on lockdown before, most of us find the situation rather odd. From China to Italy, from the US to Australia, every country, small or big, finds itself affected by this virus. As of this minute, 436,481 people across the world have fallen victim to covid-19 out of whom 19,642 have lost their lives to this disease. In a moment of panic and uncertainty, it is indeed on our minds to learn more about pandemics and therefore, these movies and series are the ideal fit to understand the situation better whilst you ‘quarantine and chill’. Not only will these provide information, it will also help us to hope for the better as all the previous pandemics had an eventual end as depicted in these movies, fictional and true stories, both.