Why the Movie Contagion is Terrifying!

When I heard the movie, Contagion released in 2011, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and Gwenyth Paltrow, had reemerged as a popular film, I shrugged. I didn’t want to watch a sensationalized version of coronavirus that would freak me out.

Contagion movie poster

From Wikipedia Commons

Then a week passed.

The outbreak of coronavirus statistics shot up like a vampire from a coffin.

vampire sitting up in coffin

A State of Emergency was followed by a National State of Emergency. I avoided grocery stores like the plague, no pun intended. All ski resorts in Colorado were shut down last Sunday. Good thing I listened to my gut and didn’t drive to the mountains!


Breckenridge has always been the location of my family’s plan of emergency. Head to Breck! Meet us in the mountains! Not anymore. Eagle county, which includes Vail, is the hotbed for the virus in Colorado.

Then another week passed. 

Now shit is getting very real.

Colorado has pretty much shut down. Retail, restaurants, theaters, you name it. People are not supposed to gather. Updates are constant and so is the clear and present danger of over-filled hospitals. Most of the infected people won’t die, but it’s a nasty bug that requires hospitalization for around 20% of those who come down with the virus. Yikes! It is so surreal.

So, of course, I watched the film Contagion made popular once again because of the similarities to coronavirus. Why not scare the bejesus out of my already alarmed self?

Courtney gasping while watching the movie Contagion!

What are the differences?

In Contagion, one out of four people died within twenty-four hours of contracting the virus. That’s the premise of the movie, so I’m not ruining it for you.

Coronavirus isn’t even remotely close to that number. Whew! Our leaders’ fears about coronavirus regard the lack of respirators in overfilled hospitals where some patients may be turned away. Our hospital beds are already filled with the usual cases of flu, heart attacks, accidents, etc.

In Contagion, the US response was quick and the death toll was staggering. Here in reality, we have known about the virus since late December. Our response began in March. Leaders were comparing it to a cold in the beginning of March.

There hasn’t been anyone with false information trying to make money on the epidemic. Thank God for that.

The similarities to the movie?

The grim reality of empty shelves in grocery stores and consumers because of stockpiling. I’ve heard of first-hand experiences where customers fought over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. People are nuts. Hoarding causes the spread of the disease here in real life when people who have to be around others can’t pull sanitizer out of their pockets to keep their hands clean. I wanted to bake bread and needed flour. The stores were cleaned out. So stupid. There will never be any shortage of flour in the United States. Grain is a prolific crop here. Sheesh! What’s next?

Why people are stockpiling water is beyond me.

The movie demonstrated how easily germs are spread. Oh, man! And with the power of security cameras, could see it move from one person to the next.

The desperation of people is justified when lives are at risk. How far would you go to save yourself, a child, or a family member?

The scariest similarity? Dr. Sanjay Gupta who has been appearing on TV stations to give his professional opinion about coronavirus was the SPOKESPERSON IN THE MOVIE!!! Talk about foreshadowing…

Dr. Sanjay Gupta


When a vaccine is finally ready for public distribution, I wonder if there will be a lottery for it similar to the movie? That seems so unbelievable and yet, as of today, New York and several other states along with Colorado have shut down nearly all businesses. There is a curfew in place in New York. Although officials are still encouraging people to go outdoors and get fresh air by taking a walk in parks, I wonder when we will be told to stay inside. So much is rolling out just like the film.


I really enjoyed the movie. It was full of twists, turns, and terror. I watched the film a week ago and can’t imagine what might be next for us.

My friend, Annagiulia said that her family in Rome lives in an apartment. They opened up the windows for fresh air and sang with their neighbors. How cool is that?

Regardless of what happens, attitude is everything!

Limit contact with people, no matter where you live, PLEASE.

Keep busy and don’t forget to exercise.

Keep calm.

Don’t panic. If you’re already super stressed out, don’t watch the movie.

Sing instead!

I had a nightmare. I pulled my kids out of a camp in Wisconsin and worried the virus had spread to packed hotels. I didn’t know where to go.

Ideas for a new book are forming in my head. I’m sure thousands of other writers are starting to write them too. Who would think a movie like Contagion would be ripped from our headlines here in the US?

Here is the two-minute trailer for the movie.

Am I adding to the panic by promoting the movie?

I think there’s a vast number of people who believe shutting everything down is an overreaction. Young people don’t think they can catch it even though according to Governor Cuomo of New York, 50% of those who contract coronavirus are between the ages of 20-44 years old. We need to drastically limit contact with others to slow the epidemic.

This surreal situation, usually read in procedural thrillers, is turning reality on its head.

Stay home, stop the spread. Read books! Read blog posts! Plan for your next vacation! Get outdoors and walk!

Or ski solo!

Winter trail in the woods near Francie's Cabin in Colorado

Anyone up for watching Outbreak?

Here is a goofy post about “my tattoos” to make you smile.

What are your thoughts? Will you watch the movie? Are you avoiding the news? Are you glued to it like me? Are you binge-watching Netflix? Any new series you would recommend? Can you tell I haven’t been out with people other than Danny for over a week?

Join the Wild Riders!

The Movie Contagion. Why it is Terrifying people all over again

43 thoughts on “Why the Movie Contagion is Terrifying!

Add yours

  1. If watching the movie will get folks to take this situation more seriously I’m in favor. I can’t believe people are still taking fights and companies insisting workers come into work. New York has given up testing as a method to track exposure. Now they are switching to a treatment strategy that says, “If you don’t have symptoms, don’t bother us.”


    1. It’s pretty insane! The “if only” list is loooong. People are #Covidiots!! Some still aren’t taking the virus seriously. This film should run 24/7 on our local stations! That would do it…:)

      Now that the mountains are closed, I would like to make a quick trip this week to pick up a few staples, which will keep me out of the grocery store germ factory, and grab some gear. We might be able to AT-ski in solitude somewhere before the state rolls out new mandates that make us stay indoors. That would be really terrifying…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Think I’ll pass on the movie. No need adding to the stress level. The regular news pretty much takes care of that.

    One funny note. I used to be heartbreaking to see the dogs’ faces when we left them. It was that “please don’t leave alone” us sad look. Now that we’re all here together all the time, they’ve found out how truly boring we really are. The look now is “That’s all you got?” Thank goodness for the walks or they would be looking for new parents to adopt!


    1. You don’t need to be scared straight like some people who are Covidiots. I wonder if they would change their behavior if they watched Contagion.

      😂😂😂 You should blog from your dog’s point of view starting with Day One!
      I’m home so much, Roxy has barely noticed…


  3. It’s scary how close it is to the real thing. Art imitates life or is it the other way around. Keep safe and stay put. We are dealing with total lockdown here in Spain. If everyone follows the rules we should be OK. Sending virtual hugs.


    1. So, you can’t go outside at all?? That’s my biggest fear. Just thinking about it gives me claustrophobia.

      The film is so similar!! Thank God we’re not dealing with a virus anything like the one in the movie. A 24-hour death result in 25% of people is where Hollywood jumps the shark, which is why we watch movies!
      Stay safe, my friend!!


  4. Contagion popped up on my Netflix menu last night when I was looking for something to watch. My reaction was an emphatic “NO”. The TV is on all waking hours to news station playing the real life movie. I couldn’t take anymore, even if it was fictional. I was looking for an escape from it for a couple of hours. If this carries on much longer it will end up being watched. Eventually I will run out of escapism TV.


    1. It’s a great movie but you shouldn’t watch it if it’s going to make you feel worse. We watched A Quiet Place the other night and LOVED it. That really put the coronavirus in perspective. Life could be a whole lot worse. A fantastic movie and one you might really enjoy. The sequel is coming out this fall.
      I hope you get a chance to go outside today and take a walk. That really de-stresses me! 😎 🚴‍♀️ 🌲

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can go out on the balcony and watch the deer hang out in the preserve behind my building. Right now it is pretty scary just getting on the elevator and riding down 30 floors to get outside. You find yourself watching the numbers and praying you get all the way with out someone else getting on. That’s enough exercise for this old heart right now.


  5. I started watching Containment on Netflix, which seems similar to Contagion, which I probably won’t watch. LOL I don’t understand why all the toilet paper is disappearing. Luckily, I had just bought my monthly supply a few days before people went crazy. I also finally found flour and sugar the other day. Other than that, we’re set. I’m having to work from home because all schools are closed until April 10th so far. I have a feeling it’ll be longer, but at least I have a laptop now and can try to help the teachers still teach their students. My dept has been absolutely amazing, as has my district in general, and we’re even figuring out how we can take calls from home using a different type of queue (I work IT help desk for the largest district in AZ). My district is paying everyone, every employee including our student employees, and I have never been so proud to work for them.

    Stay safe and healthy! I’m doing everything I can to keep my immuno-compromised self and my 73yo mother safe and healthy, too.


    1. Wow! Your description of how AZ is taking care of teachers gave me shivers. I hope other states will do the same.

      I haven’t heard of the series, Containment, but I loved A Quiet Place. We started catching up with The Crown last night. I’m trying to get used to the new cast. Tonight we are planning to watch 1917. In the meantime, we take a walk outside every day and I’m continuing to write!

      I hope you and your mom stay healthy. Mine just turned 90 and lives alone in an amazing Wisconsin community. We’ll get through this!!

      Thanks for sharing, Jinxie!


  6. It is a terrifying movie. But it is reassuring, though. I find the reassurance in the science and seeing how the CDC works behind the scenes. I consider it a movie everyone must see. (I had seen it twice before, a little bit after it came out). Now World War Z, avoid at all costs. I’ve been wanting to read that one again and I am going to put it off further now.


    1. I forgot about World War Z. That was another dystopian thriller. At least we aren’t facing anything like that!!

      You’re right about the reassurance. It was interesting to see everything that goes on in science behind the scenes. It makes it easier to understand what’s going on right now in real life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A friend said I should watch ‘Contagion’, a few weeks back. I did. Ouch. On the plus side, for writers, being forcibly stuck at home does mean more writing time… (I write full-time for a living anyway, but always did manage to get out of the house when I could & the non-fiction I write demanded time in archival reading rooms – all now closed).

    I hope all’s well your way.


    1. My routine hasn’t changed that dramatically for the same reason. Hopefully, it will be behind us in a few months and you can continue your research. In the meantime, you might consider writing fiction!
      Stay healthy, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I am trapped in the house just now – the government put NZ into lock-down today. Everybody stays home. It will be possible to get groceries and things, but other than that the place is closed. This has never happened before in NZ’s history.


  8. Most of us are feeling the brunt of the blast that has only begun. Italy has turned out to be the sacrificial lamb, but there is no way to gauge where exactly in the ongoing real life saga we are —the climax, and the denouement may look entirely different. The current outbreak could be a wake up call for worse.


    1. I hope not. That said, I don’t think our leaders will take so long to react next time and there will be a next time. Despite what a lot of people are saying, I’ve been hearing about the virus since December!

      Are you locked inside like the rest of us with only parks and grocery stores to go to?


      1. If you heard about the virus in December 2019, you should be thankful to 29 years old Dr Li Wenliang who blew the whistle on the nefarious stranglehold of the authorities of his shady kingdom. May his soul rest in peace.

        Meanwhile, poor Italians kept hugging the placard bearing Chinese who popped up in squares exhorting the locals they were people, not viri. Repentance is theirs for sure. No, I am not trying to spread hatred against folks of certain origin, but PRC needs to own up the grisly snafu they have fathered.

        My city is in a lockdown, but bankers are part of the team providing ‘essential services’, and I am working from home on alternate days and stepping out for office too. It’s getting scary with each passing day. We are hoping to break the chain of contagion. Our medical infrastructure will likely fall woefully short of the mark if and when we enter the Stage 3 and beyond. So help me God.


        1. Here, it wasn’t the Chinese, but travelers on cruise ships that infected the country.

          We all seem to be simmering in the same pot, Uma. We’ll get through this! Stay healthy!


  9. One comment: there ARE people out there trying to scam money out of others. Please check BEFORE you buy any Masks, especially on the Internet. There are specific masks that do the best job. If you get a lesser mask, at least, don’t pay the fortune many are charging.


  10. I won’t watch the movie – too close to home and the current situation, but I’m watching and listening to the news all the time, Susie. Given that COVID-19 has now infected one member of our Royal Family, I hope those who think they are immune or won’t get it, take note and stay at home. We’ve been on lockdown since Monday evening in the UK, yet I still see people gathering in groups and people squashing onto public transport. Some people aren’t listening to the advice and are putting so many other people at risk.
    We’re currently watching comedy shows (such as The Golden Girls) to cheers ourselves up while all of this is going on. A bit of humour and laughing certainly helps.
    Stay safe, Susie.


    1. It does hit super close to home. More so than anyone ever would have thought and we aren’t through it yet. But we’ll get there.

      Trump announced yesterday (I so seldom write anything political) that he thinks we can roll back the restrictions by Easter. And Fox News anchor, Britt Hume said the elderly should sacrifice their lives for the economy. I’m not kidding. It is terrifying and I feel so helpless. We heard similar opinions during WWII.

      Speaking of, we watched Jo Jo Rabbit two nights ago, which was worth the Oscar nod, and brilliant in a lot of ways, but so depressing. For me, anyway. Sense and Sensibility with Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Emma Thompson was quite a diversion last night and just what I needed. 🙂

      We have a couple of masks for household use and I plan to wear one the next time I go to the store. Yesterday, a lady kept invading my personal space in the produce department. So weird to think that close proximity has become frightening. The only time I’m out is to exercise or shop and I try to put it off as long as possible.

      Stay healthy, my friend! (((hugs)))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It may seem strange, Susie, but when I have to go out (like when taking the dogs for a walk), I now look at all other humans as if they are zombies. It keeps me well away from them, and if any come towards me, I make a quick dash. Our supermarkets now have a new policy of allowing a limited number of people into their stores at any one time. Then it’s one out, one in.
        Generally, people are queuing correctly with at least two metres between the next person. During regular times, we Brits are known for liking to join queues, so it’s one area where most are being sensible.


        1. That’s good to hear, Hugh. I’ve been taking walks with Danny and the dog and find a lot of clueless people out there. We step waaay off the trail. My daughter wears headphones and keeps her head down.

          I love the idea of letting a number of people in the store at a time. I’m going to wear a mask the next time I go.

          Liked by 1 person

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