LOS ANGELES: The stars of the 2011 medical thriller Contagion have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19 that has been sweeping across the globe.
Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health to offer four individual homemade videos.
“Wash your hands like your life depends on it,” Winslet says in her public servince announcement. “Because right now, in particular, it just might.”
Ehle stresses that the coronavirus is novel, meaning no one is immune. “Every single one of us, regardless of age or ethnicity, is at risk of getting it,” she says.
Contagion explores a scenario in which a lethal and fast-moving influenza is spreading around the world and had become a prescient film these days.
Damon, who in the film played a character who was immune to the hypothetical virus, also stresses listening to experts and staying six feet apart. “That was a movie. This is real life,” he says. “I have no reason to believe that I’m immune to COVID-19. And neither do you.”
Fishburne appeals to helping medical staff on the front line. “If we can slow this thing down, it will give our doctors and our nurses in our hospitals a fighting chance to help us all get through this thing together,” he says.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Other especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia and even death.