The Contagion cast are reminding people about the crucial need for practicing social distancing and washing one’s hands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a new PSA from Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Ehle, in collaboration with scientists at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the actors from the popular 2011 film (now more prescient than ever) are offering good advice for containing the spread of coronavirus.
In the introductory video, Winslet says, “The health of our society is in your hands,” adding, “Wash your hands like your life depends on it.”
In one video in the series, Damon talks about immunity, or rather, the lack thereof, to the virus. Although the character he played in Contagion, Mitch Emhoff, was immune to the fictional virus that menaced the world of the film, Damon mentions that everyone, young and old, is at risk of contracting COVID-19.
“Other generations have been asked to do extraordinary things,” Damon says. “We’re being asked to just stay at home.”
The video series was produced by Steven Soderbergh, director of Contagion, and Scott Z. Burns, the film’s screenwriter, in conjunction with the Mailman School of Public Health, which is headed by Ian Lipkin, a scientific advisor on the film.
Discussing the PSA series, Lipkin stresses the urgency of clear and scientifically accurate communication about coronavirus: “More than ever, the world needs good science and clear messages on what people can do to protect themselves and their communities.”
Watch the PSA series below.