GSL Director discusses how pandemic movies can help us understand COVID-19 in CTV News Article

On July 10, GSL Director Steven Hoffman was quoted in a CTV News article investigating the topic how pandemic movies compare to the real thing and if we can learn anything from them.

In the article, Hoffman revealed that he includes the 2011 Steven Soderbergh pandemic thriller Contagion in his international health law syllabus: “I have always included Contagion in my … lists, because I felt it so accurately depicted what was likely to happen in a future pandemic. And indeed most of what we saw in Contagion has actually happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He pointed to the breakdown of international health systems under pressure, panic buying by consumers, dubious miracle cures and a disease that “spread very quietly and then very quickly” as common features of both Contagion’s fictional pandemic and the real one.

Hoffman said he is open to the idea that exposure to fictional catastrophes could leave us better able to deal with real ones: “Simulations, and experiences that get people to think about future possibilities, will have a preparatory effect on people. That’s why we often run simulations for organizations and communities in order to make sure that people know what to do when certain events happen.”

Read the full article here.


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