‘Contagion’ spreads pathogenic plot

“Contagion” brings to the big screen what would happen if an unknown pathogenic germ/virus started spreading throughout human contact. Globalization increased the amount of time it would take for a virus to spread. In the 17th century, a ship voyage from Europe to the Americas took an average of 57 days. Today, a Boeing 747 takes about 6 hours, 15 minutes to travel from England to New York. It would take less than 24 hours for an infected host to travel around the world infecting people, the unknowing people spreading the disease into their families and continuing an unstoppable chain reaction. Produced by Steven Soderbergh, “Contagion” brings to life a thriller that shows the good side of humanity and the bad. As fear begins to spread, society breaks down, looting, fights, and the mishap of the weak become a common resurgence. But not for everyone, Dr. Erin Mears, a doctor working for the U.S. Center for Disease Control, portrayed by Kate Winslet, puts herself in danger in order to control the global outbreak. Dr. Erin was not the only one showing the good of humanity, but a number of other characters as well, such as the mothers aiding the dying victims of the outbreak. The film also shows the concept of isolation, as the best protection method was to not come into contact with others. As it was said in the film: “The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute.” Every time an individual touches his or her face, the chances of becoming infected increases. From two infected carriers to four, from four to 16, and the beginning of a chain reaction culminating in billions of infected people. The virus that causes the outbreak in the film, MEV-1, was a created from the virulent properties of H5N1, most commonly known as avian flu. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The acting was good; Matt Damon and Kate Winslet were two of my favorite actors from the film. Also, the film’s script theme—while already used before— kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. “Contagion” is bound to leave viewers with an awareness of miniscule carriers of death, unnoticed by the naked eyed, and present on almost all surfaces on Earth. Do not fear, however; not all germs are pathogenic. As my microbiology instructor said, germs are an essential part of life – the non-pathogenic germ, that is. I left the movie theater aware of every surfaced I came into contact, like the door knob, the water fountain, the car, and the crowded hallway where it was next to impossible to not bump into people. Who knows the millions of germs that I came into contact during that eight minute exit, the good thing is: “I’m still here, alive and free of MEV-1.”