Where to Stream:
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
If you’ve already anxiety-watched Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, Netflix has the perfect thing to check out next. In January, Netflix released Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, a six-part docuseries about the spread of viral illness throughout history. While Pandemic on Netflix doesn’t explicitly mention coronavirus, the docuseries does put a face to the public health officials, doctors, and influenza experts on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pandemic Netflix 2020 attempts to explain, in layman’s terms, how viral outbreaks begin and rapidly spread around the globe. When the series was first released in January, coronavirus was just beginning to spread throughout China, and it had yet to reach other parts of the world. Of course, that has since changed — but for those who watched Pandemic on Netflix, that was to be expected.
The first episode of Pandemic introduces viewers to doctors in the U.S. and in Asia who are working to find a universal cure for the flu. “Every once in a while there is a variant of flu that emerges that poses an existential threat to us as a species,” says Dr. Dennis Carroll, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emerging Threats Unit. At the time, he was speaking about the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed 50 to 100 million people. Now, nearly two months after Pandemic hit Netflix, it seems likely that Carroll’s statement may also apply to COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, this strain of novel coronavirus has killed more than 4,600 people, and that figure is likely to rise as it continues spreading around the globe.
Subsequent episodes of Pandemic focus on Ebola, the importance of developing vaccines, and the common flu. The final episode, which explains what can be done to combat the flu, will be most helpful to those looking to avoid the spread of coronavirus, as many of the methods are similar. You’ve already heard it all over the news, but remember to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. As Netflix’s Pandemic makes clear, these little things really do make a difference when it comes to preventing outbreaks.
Pandemic is currently streaming on Netflix.