The 2011 movie Contagion showed the world the story of a disease that spreads across the globe. Many people are re-watching the movie in 2020, finding it very relevant amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Recently, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and other people involved in the film’s production, all filmed PSAs about the coronavirus outbreak. What did the actors have to say, in light of the global pandemic?
‘Contagion’ cast members, including Matt Damon and Kate Winslet, record videos about the COVID-19 pandemic
The actors from Contagion, as well as director Steven Soderbergh, recently agreed to requests from scientists at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to make educational videos about the coronavirus.
Matt Damon was one of the cast members who made an online PSA. He shared in his video:
A few years a go, a bunch of us did this movie called Contagion. Which we’ve noticed is creeping its way back up on the charts on iTunes–for obvious reasons, given what we’re all living through right now.
He explained how Columbia reached out and asked the Contagion cast to do PSAs. Damon also confirmed that all the advice in the video came from experts on public health.
“I’m here to talk to you about social distancing,” he said.
While Contagion “was a movie, this is real life,” he said. Damon’s character in the 2011 film was immune to the virus. But, as he explained, there’s no reason that anyone can assume they’re immune to COVID-19.
“No matter how young you are,” Damon emphasized.
Matt Damon says sitting at home ‘saves lives’
“This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last,” Damon also said of coronavirus. The Contagion star then outlined the basic rules of social distancing. The actor also warned that you can spread it to several people, even if you have mild symptoms or none at all.
Damon specifically called out the “spring breakers” who kept their trip on despite the pandemic.
“Almost 40% of the people hospitalized in this pandemic are under 55,” the Contagion actor reminded viewers. You could also a threat to the elderly and immuno-compromised people, as Damon explained.
“You can actually sit on the couch … and save a life at the same time,” the actor continued. He encouraged his fans to work from home.
“You are saving lives,” he said–and told people to tell others who get a “hard time” from friends.
“Please do your part,” he begged the PSA’s viewers. “Other generations have been asked to do extraordinary things. We’re just being asked to stay at home. We got this.”
‘Contagion’ actor Kate Winslet also made a video about the coronavirus pandemic
Kate Winslet, the actress who played an epidemiologist in Contagion, chimed in as well.
In her video, she told viewers the most important thing is to “wash your hands like your life depends on it.” As Winslet explained, “it just might–or the life of someone you love.”
She specifically mentioned the people on the “front lines” of the COVID-19 outbreak like health care staff, grocery store workers, and delivery employees.
“Here’s something we can all do to make a difference,” Winslet continued. “And it doesn’t require a medical degree, or a microscope, or a ton of knowledge. Soap and water are all you need.”
The Contagion actor then demonstrated proper hand-washing technique. Winslet explained that only way to contract the virus is via “direct contact with a droplet from the cough of a sneeze of an infected person.”
The Titanic star also encouraged viewers to wipe down surfaces and to stop touching their faces as much.
“It’s not easy, but it’s an important one,” Winslet explained.
“The health of our society is literally in your hands,” she said.
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