Netflix show Pandemic gains popularity in light of COVID-19

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By Farah Haq, Cesar Torales, and Emily Torres, Staff Writers

In late January, Netflix released the six-part docuseries, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, which examines the flu prevention and vaccine development processes for potentially devastating diseases. By focusing on how to prepare for an outbreak, the docuseries depicts the struggle medical professionals face when combating diseases. The show saw a recent gain in popularity due to the current pandemic, COVID-19. 

The series itself was filmed in 2019, but many of its lessons are applicable today to the coronavirus. For example, Pandemic reveals that taking precautions such as washing your hands and coughing in your elbow are essential in curbing the spread of disease. 

Pandemic sets itself apart from typical documentaries because it brings the science of epidemiology to life through captivating characters and visual action. It also highlights the important roles that medical professionals play. 

Junior Ruquiya Mithani said, “This show would provide insight into how this… branch of science is actually extremely essential to our survival.” 

Sophomore Stephanie Espinoza agreed. “This [docuseries] will probably emphasize the sacrifices that doctors have to make in order to help people in need. It is important that we acknowledge the fact that they are risking their lives in order to save other people.”

Ruquiya understands the current relevance of the docuseries and said, “The show displays the progression of an epidemic which is our current reality.” Stephanie also commented, “I believe that this series would be quite informative since they will be discussing pandemics and how we can properly deal with them.”

Other Harrisites who did not watch the series are interested in its plot. Junior Alexia Donza said, “I’d like to be educated on the specifics of what is being done to stop pandemics that harm so many people, like COVID-19.” Likewise, freshman Amelia Ferrell thought it could help raise awareness. “I think that watching it will help educate people on how to contain this virus or how to prevent this in the future,” she said. 

Pandemic teaches the importance of supporting the medical industry in order to effectively combat and minimize the threat of a pandemic. However, in the United States today, there aren’t enough resources to curb the effects of coronavirus. In a press briefing on February 26, Trump defended firing The Global Health Security and Biodefense unit stating, “Some of the people we cut, they haven’t been used for many, many years. And… if we have a need, we can get them very quickly…Rather than spending the money— and I’m a business person.” Overall, this new docuseries helps to put these ideas into perspective.

Additional reporting by Micah Sandy and Huzayfah Awan