As ‘Contagion’ spikes up, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne step up to Coronavirus

Since the Coronavirus hit, one of the top streaming movies has been “Contagion” from 2011 starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle. While it’s a Hollywood version, it feels very real with all that is happening today.

If nothing else, the film will show you how important washing your hands and keeping away from others during this novel pandemic virus.

The frustration of a government leader not doing enough while states and people are crying enough. Even Donald Trump declaring yesterday that governors better show him appreciation or he won’t take their call for help makes it feel like we are living in a movie with this pandemic waiting for that magical event where everything becomes better again hoping that lessons are learned.

The stars of the virus thriller “Contagion” — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19.

Damon, Fishburne, Winslet, and Ehle have all teamed up with scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health to offer four individual homemade videos.

“Wash your hands like your life depends on it,” Winslet says in her PSA. “Because right now, in particular, it just might.”

Ehle stresses that the coronavirus is novel, meaning no one is immune. “Every single one of us, regardless of age or ethnicity, is at risk of getting it,” she says.

“Contagion,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, explores a scenario in which a lethal and fast-moving influenza is spreading around the world.

Damon, who in the film played a character who was immune to the hypothetical virus, also stresses listening to experts and staying 6 feet apart. “That was a movie. This is real life,” he says. “I have no reason to believe that I’m immune to COVID-19. And neither do you.”

Fishburne appeals to helping medical staff on the front line. “If we can slow this thing down, it will give our doctors and our nurses in our hospitals a fighting chance to help us all get through this thing together,” he says.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

For the PSA, the actors worked with the same experts who were consultants on the film.

There are more than 640,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases around the globe with more than 112,000 confirmed cases in the United States, a staggering jump from Thursday’s total of closer to 500,000. More than 29,000 people have died,  including over 1,800 in the United States. At least 137,000 have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

matt damon on coronavirus staying six feet away from others


Help stop coronavirus

  1. HANDS – Wash them often
  2. ELBOW – Cough into it
  3. FACE – Don’t touch it
  4. SPACE – Keep safe distance
  5. HOME – Stay if you can