I Watched ‘Contagion’ This Weekend And Now I’m The Michael Jordan of Social Distancing

A lot of times, most of us need motivation to get up off our couch and go out. But now that we’re being told to stay home, it feels like we need motivation to stay on our couch and not go out. If you’re feeling this way, I’ve got one word for you:


I’ve got two more words for you:

Watch. It.

Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow (kinda… also, pre-Goop), Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard (Leo’s wife in Inception), Elliott freaking Gould! Oh, and comedian Demetri Martin plays a scientist. I’m telling you, this thing has more stars than Jerry Jones’ bedroom wallpaper.

“I wonder if it’s rude for a deaf person to talk with food in their hands.” -Demetri Martin

And as if that Pro Bowl roster worth of stars isn’t enough to get you to see this movie, the whole thing is directed by Steven Soderbergh. So you know the thing is solid. Who’s Stevie Sodes, you ask? He’s the director of:

  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • Ocean’s Thirteen
  • Ocean’s Eight
  • Logan Lucky (which is essentially hillbilly Ocean’s Eleven)
  • Magic Mike
  • Traffic
  • Erin Brokovich
  • Out of Sight
  • Side Effects
  • The Laundromat
  • and Contagion

Pick a movie out of that list that’s bad. I dare you. (Note: I haven’t seen Magic Mike, I promise. But according to every woman on earth it’s good. So that’s good enough for me.)

Now, this wasn’t the first time I saw this movie. In fact, I first saw it years ago and upon first viewing, the thing shooketh me to my core. And now that we’re (somewhat) living it, I felt it would be a good idea to revisit this movie.

Now forgive me for going all Tebow here, but…

“To the sick and everybody in Coronavirus Nation, I’m sorry, extremely sorry. We were hoping for a pandemic-free 2020. That was my goal, something Florida’s never done before, because well, they’re Florida.

“But I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of me watching Contagion.

“You will never see any person in the entire country social distance themselves as hard as I will social distance myself for the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the country (read: the readers of his blog) as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season, and you will never see a blog social distance harder than we will the rest of the season.

“God bless.”

Honestly, I’m proud to do my part after watching that movie. I’ve never felt so alive feeling so alone! I’m an extrovert, and yet, I feel like the biggest bad ass saying, “Of course I’m going to watch the entire reunion episode of Love Is Blind because I watched the previous 11 episodes, so why wouldn’t I?”

Be like me and make social distancing a game against yourself. See how late in the day you can wait before putting pants on. For some that may be right away. For others that may be when you check the mail. And for many, I’m sure that’s whenever Uber Eats shows up. And if you haven’t seen Contagion – or even if you have, like me – watch this movie again!

Sure, the movie Contagion is the absolute extreme, and what we’re dealing with isn’t nearly as deadly. But it is as spreadable, and also some other similarities I’ll hit on.


First off, are Jude Law’s teeth always that crooked or did they just make them like that for this movie? Because I feel like I’ve seen The Holiday a million times and never noticed those chompers before. To me, those were the sickest thing of this entire movie.

With that said, there’s a lot of that movie that felt eerily similar to what we’re going through right now. Obviously, coronavirus (or as I call it, COVID-19, because I’m distinguished) is not nearly as deadly, but it does appear to be just as transmittable. Plus, symptoms don’t show nearly as fast as in Contagion. Also, it seemed like it was for that reason there was no pushback from the general public in that movie like there is today in real life. Still feels like there are people who don’t realize just how fast this virus is spreading – and since it isn’t spreading at Contagion like levels, people aren’t being as responsible.

I should also note that technology has changed soooo much since that movie, which is crazy to think about because it’s not even nine-years-old. I mean digital cameras? Can you name a single person who still owns and/or uses a digital camera today? And if you can, are they amish?

Why do all of the viruses start in China? COVID-19 was traced back to bats in the Wuhan province of China. The disease in Contagion was also traced to bats in China. Gosh, China makes all the biggest things: toys, technology, sneakers, global pandemics. I blame Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank for outsourcing everything to them.

Many people believe Matt Damon was immune from the virus in Contagion, when really he was infected with the disease worse than anyone, because the next movie he went on to make was We Bought A Zoo.

Me, after watching We Bought A Zoo


Austin hosts a country music morning radio show in Chicago after nearly a decade in sports talk radio (The Jim Rome Show, Steve Gorman SPORTS!) Colin Cowherd and Smash Mouth follow him on Twitter (which he apparently thought was important enough to share here). He also wears pants everyday.


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