Since the coronavirus outbreak, you might be revisiting your favorite pandemic movies: Outbreak (1995), Contagion (2011) and, of course, Will Smith’s I Am Legend.
The 2007 film was about a viral outbreak that wiped out human civilization with Smith’s character, a virologist, being one of the few last people on Earth -- he also had to fight off superhuman zombies.
On an episode of Facebook’s Red Table Talk yesterday (March 18), Will Smith opened up about the relevance of the film today.
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“I wanted to do this because in 2008 I made I Am Legend so I feel responsible for a lot of the misinformation," Smith joked (the film was released in 2007, despite what Smith said).
Smith continued, "I had the opportunity in my preparation for the role to go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and there was a basic foundational comprehension of viruses and viral pathogens. It really changed my life and how I looked at the world. There’s basic concepts that people do not understand."
Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, appeared on the show to explain how the virus is spread and the importance of social distancing. “By the time this gets done, it’ll be worse than influenza. We are beginning to slow it down in the sense that we’re starting to get people to understand it,” Osterholm warned.
You can watch the hour-long episode, here.
According to The New York Times, over 8,400 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus and over 140 have died. The number is more than likely higher but the Trump administration’s testing failures have limited medical professionals on the frontlines of the virus.
For the latest on the coronavirus, contact your local health department and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.