Question: What do Matt Damon, Lawrence Fishburne, and Kate Winslet have in common with the CoVid-19 global crisis?
Answer: They’re the stars of 2011’s eerily prophetic viral pandemic movie Contagion. The actors made short video PSAs about preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus that’s infecting millions of people world-wide right now.
Co-stars Jennifer Ehle and Marion Cotillard also contributed PSAs. These helpful videos are on Columbia University’s Control the Contagion website. Each message is about five minutes long and covers topics like how to wash your hands, the importance of staying at home and social distancing, preventing the harmful blame game, and showing how to find reliable virus information (to avoid dangerous rumors that could kill people).
Damon also delivers a small reprimand to the young people who aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, noting it’s the people we love who might pay for our carelessness.
Winslet adds, “Wash your hands like your life depends on it. Because right now, in particular, it might.”
I found Columbia U’s Be Prepared website while collecting Extra Scene info for RunPee after watching Contagion last week. Somehow I missed the flick when it came out almost ten years ago, but was duly frightened by the foretelling of current events in 2020. Scanning the end credits, I noted there isn’t an Extra Scene, but there is one little horrific message printed on-screen:
“It’s not IF, but WHEN.
Get ready at www/takepart.com/contagion”
I checked the link to see if it was live and up to date. It is… And there’s a trove of good information about CoVid-19. I’m impressed with the Contagion actors’ commitment. They’re helping save lives. The cast didn’t have to do this – they weren’t paid for the effort. The stars made these videos themselves, at home (obeying the CDC’s directives to stay inside).
Damon says, “The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs. Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”
Note: Each video has English and Spanish-subtitled versions.
Check out these lovely messages of hope/help right now, and send them on to anyone feeling scared, confused, or lonely in our time of self-quarantine:
Thanks, Contagion cast. It’s cool that you care.
Be smart and be safe, everyone. As Columbia U says, “The COVID-19 pandemic cannot be ended by any single person, organization, or country. We must all work together and do our part.”
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)