Anxiety and hyper-awareness is up now as the world hunkers down to stall the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homes have turned into workplaces. Many are sitting at home worried about their employment future. As self-quarantine becomes the new norm, “Netflix and chill” is the norm on the daily schedule.
Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak dropped on January 8th on Netflix. The documentary series premiered as the new Coronavirus’ impact was in its early stages. The six-episode series begins with the statement that our world is due to have another new, fast-spreading virus. It refers back to the influenza virus of 1918, where between 50 to 100 million people died from it.
In 1918, there were 2 billion people in the world. There are now nearly 8 billion.
From there, the series follows the trials and tribulations of scientists around the world, working to prevent the next outbreak of a flu pandemic. Pandemic functions as any virus-themed disaster film with this difference: the characters and subjects are real. For example, Dr. Syra Madad attempts to get the New York City hospital system ready for a deadly pandemic, despite facing budget cuts. Scientists Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives attempt to create a one-shot flu vaccine, and make it free to people in developing countries. Dr. Dinesh Vijay tours the wards of an overcrowded hospital in Jaipur, while Dr. Dennis Carroll examines the poultry markets of Vietnam.
In addition, anti-vaccine groups step into the spotlight. One Oregon-based group fights against a bill that would make vaccines mandatory in the state. Then, the series takes a page out of Contagion, globe-trotting from Oregon to the fight to contain the Ebola virus in the Congo. Pandemic‘s intensity rivals any major motion picture, especially since it’s happening as we speak.
In short, if you can handle a series that details how the world is unprepared for the next flu pandemic without having your anxiety skyrocket, this is the one for you. Just be sure to catch every second of it. It may help save your life.
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