Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer


As we rushed into the house, we both headed immediately to our bathrooms to wash our hands. Twice. And I also washed my face.

Contagion is a very intelligent movie. It is scary, but not in the Friday the 13th kind of scary, or in the Night of the Living Dead kind of scary, although come to think of it, there were some elements in common with the original Night of the Living Dead. No, what makes Contagion scary is that it could happen so easily.

I had no idea that we touch our faces, on the average, of three to five times a minute, more than 3,000 times a day, and that with every surface we touch, we transfer (germs) (bacteria) (things that could make you sick) close to an entry to your body, like your nostrils and your mouth. Once you start thinking about NOT touching your face, you become aware of how often you touch your own face, unaware. Like flipping hair out of your eyes, or covering your mouth when you laugh, or a million other things like that. You become aware of all the things you touch between the time you wash your hands and touch your food. You think about who may have touched your fork, and how well it was washed.

For me, the scariest part of the movie, beyond how quickly the virus mutated and spread, was how quickly civil society broke down when cities were quarantined, when people were concerned food was growing scarce, when people thought they had to fight for survival. The rules for avoiding spreading the virus were not to meet, not to touch, to stay apart. It’s hard to help one another when those rules are in play, but those rules make it easier for those without rules to attack and take what they can.

I liked the music in the movie, too, very edgy.

Before I ever saw this movie, I heard an interview with the author on NPR. She was saying that when they came to her wanting to make this movie, she said “it cannot start in Africa. . . (there were a whole bunch of rules, which were hilarious because they were like every plot for a movie like this ever made) I knew I needed to see this movie, to see how it could be done and still be dramatic, and follow her rules.

There is one hilarious quote. A blogger in this movie gains enormous following. As he is tracking down one of the scientists for information, the scientist says to him:

Blogging is not writing. It’s just graffiti with punctuation.

Excuse me, gotta go wash my hands again.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, Customer Service, Entertainment, Experiment, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Movie, Social Issues, Statistics | 6 Comments