With large parts of the country staying home to flatten the coronavirus pandemic curve, Americans are turning to the convenience of streaming content online. One film in particular climbs into the charts - infection (2011), the fictional story of a pandemic widely acclaimed for its scientific veracity. (Check out the videos.)
Several now infection Stars have reunited to create a series of evidence-based PSAs that explain what we can do to protect ourselves from COVID-19. The videos were produced by infection Director and screenwriter Steven Soderbergh and Scott Burns and the film's scientific advisor Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity,an der Mailman School of Public Health der Columbia University.
The new PSAs are part of a broader effort by the Columbia Mailman School to understand and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lipkin, who has been one of the world's foremost experts on coronavirus since his involvement in the 2003 SARS response, consulted both the infection Script and the PSA scripts. Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Stephen Morse was among several other experts who also provided input.
The stars of the new videos - including two Oscar winners - recorded each other from home as they followed social distancing recommendations.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reached out to the cast and asked us if we'd do a virtual reunion and some PSAs, says Matt Damon, who plays a character in the movie. Everything you hear from us has been checked by health experts and scientists.
In his PSA, Damon notes that everyone, including young people, is at risk for COVID-19 and urges viewers to stay home and practice social distancing-even when we feel healthy. We can all do this by staying separate. Please do your part.
Kate Winslet, who plays in an epidemiologist infection , emphasizes the importance of hand washing in their PPE. To prepare for the role, I spent some time with some of the best health professionals in the world, she says. One of the most important things they told me: wash your hands like your life depends on it. Because right now it could be.
Two other PSAs - with Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle - are calling on people to listen to public health officials and avoid the spread of misinformation. Availablewith English and Spanish subtitles, all videosdirect viewers to the Columbia Mailman School website via a special URL to learn more about the coronavirus. ControltheContagion.org .
Lipkin and his lab have focused their research on developing tests and treatments for COVID-19. C. of the laboratory3The test promises to reduce both false negatives and false positives, thereby reducing not only the number of people unwittingly spreading the virus, but also the resources devoted to quarantining or treating people who are because of something others are sick, are spent.
It's an honor to work with these creatives again, says Lipkin. More than ever, the world needs good science and clear messages about what people can do to protect themselves and their communities.