We are human incubators, we can harbor diseases that we have no knowledge about and have no symptoms to show for it. And when these diseases make themselves known, there is no going back.
The Netflix show, “Pandemic: How to prevent an outbreak,” that premiered in Jan. 2020 showcases just that; the top doctors from New York to India take on the Influenza and Swine Flu.
The show consists of six episodes with roughly six chapters per episode. In this series, they tackle all types of controversial subjects regarding viruses such as “anti-vaxxers,” how viruses originate and migrants coming to America for a better life. The show follows volunteers at Casa Alitas, a migrant shelter who push for migrants to stay and maintain health with flu shots.
The flu usually starts something like this: wildlife to livestock to humans. It’s an unfortunate cycle that can become very deadly and can affect millions and millions of people.
“Let’s say there’s a flu outbreak at a chicken farm,” said Deb Carter, a wildlife vet from the series. “The flu didn’t start there. Maybe a hunter went out and shot something and didn’t clean his boots off and went into the chicken house, and you know spread all this flu.”
With a flu outbreak comes fear. When people are aware of how to prevent the spread of a certain virus, they take the steps necessary to keep themselves healthy. Syra Madad, a doctor in New York from the series, commits her life to just that.
“There are four special pathogens for the flu,” said Madad. “A high mortality rate, it causes panic, it is hard to treat and it is very contagious.”
These special pathogens are very prevalent in today’s society, especially in this series. It shows real people fighting these viruses all around the world, people coughing and others with ventilators. Many others were frightened about what could happen next to them.
“Generally, we Indians think it’s a small cough, all you should do is take honey, lemon and turmeric, and it goes away,” said Dheeraj Manghnami, the son of a patient from Jaipur, Rajasthan in India. “But [it] seems like it was something very different this time. Nobody realized it was Swine Flu.”
Manghnami’s father, Devraj Manghnami, passed away from complications of the swine flu a few days later. The death of Manghnami was talked about very delicately, watching it felt very dignifying.
“Often in the 15 years of my professional life… When a patient of mine did not survive, I have wept for them,” said Dinesh Vijay, a doctor from Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital (SDMH), in Rajasthan. “The sadness I feel when I lose a patient is more than the happiness of saving one.”
Overall, the show was well produced. The science and facts instill fear, but it shows real people with real problems worldwide. Some scenes are tearjerkers, some scenes are educating. With the coronavirus outbreak and in the current state of our country, and all around the world; this is an important show to watch. It ends on a hopeful note because it allows people to realize that even through a scary pandemic they can count on scientists and doctors, the true heroes of a pandemic.