With the issues and problems we are forced to face due to the Covid-19 Virus, whether we like or not, we always wonder how such an event can occur in the first place. We as humans seem to have always encountered these kinds of issues, going back as far as the early 1900s. From this information, these flu viruses are not necessarily new or unknown to humans. Around the 1300s, we experienced a plague known as “The Black Death”. And in the influenza virus, or famously known as the Spanish Flu affected thousands of people in 1918. We always wonder what and how do these viruses manage to infect humans, and what makes them so deadly. Now, there is a TV show on Netflix called Pandemic, which explains how these viruses spread, and what actions do the parties involved take in handling the issue.
Released on 22 January 2020, this Netflix’s Original Documentary Series explains the danger of how these flu viruses could be to humans. The documentary includes many past viruses, such as the Ebola Virus, the H7N9 Virus in China, H1N1 in India, SARS, MERS, and many more variations. Obviously, the next one on the list is the heated topic today, which is the coronavirus, or the Covid-19 Virus. The documentary shows the attempts and the actions taken by the government officials, WHO (World Health Organization), scientists, and doctors in overcoming these flu diseases.
There are a lot of actions and measures being taken in real life that was shown in this documentary. We can also see many resemblances and scenes where they represent the situation that we are facing today. The first one is the hazmat suits. So far, the Covid-19 Virus spreads quickly, and a person can be infected through the air space that they breathe. That is why hazmat suits are used by doctors and nurses to prevent them from getting infected. In this documentary, this scenario was used in one of the scenes where the hospital received a patient from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). At the time, the country was known as a red zone for the ebola virus, and the hospitals were quick to act and were prepared by using these hazmat suits just for ONE person. We see the drama quickly escalated regarding the patient from this point on.
Discussed in our previous article, one aspect that is affected the most due to Covid-19 Virus is education, and how it is being run and implemented in schools and universities. We all experience online learning or online classes in this situation. In the documentary, although not as extreme, there are scenes that took place in Oregon, United States, where families were faced with a bill where they have to vaccinate their children in order for them to go to school. The bill, however, didn’t go through and decided to retract the bill due to the protests from the anti-vaccine movement.
We also see many animal testings, or experiments being done on animals in this documentary. We are now aware that animals are the main host for this virus to spread. We as humans like to eat animals, and it is confirmed that past flu viruses or diseases come from animals. We see a lot of experiments being done in chicken, ducks, bats, pigs, and many more. The use of pigs in this documentary series was to actually find a cure, also known as the Centivax. This is due to the fact that pigs are very similar to humans. Therefore, there were experiments of the Centivax in action in this documentary. Linking to the Covid-19 Virus, the virus spread from these animals into the human body.
Overall, this series was kind of a warning, or that it shows methods and ways for society to handle and prevent these kinds of outbreaks. Although, it seems like countries from all over the world still underestimate and turn away when it comes to these flu viruses, no matter the number of times in which it has happened. One quote mentioned in Netflix’s series was this:
“When we talk about another flu pandemic happening, it’s not a matter of if, but when”
Written by: Mikhail Burman