One of 2020’s most recent releases on Netflix is the documentary Pandemic: How to prevent an outbreak. But don’t be fooled by the title: this mini-series is more than just a PPE overview.
Released on the heels of the recent coronavirus outbreak, and produced by the same company that brought us Rotten and Broken, Pandemic provides a raw and real insight to the existential risk of future worldwide outbreak.
Looking to the past for narratives, the series hammers home the “it’s not if but when” message, and provides an education on current viral surveillance measures. Using the successful example of the Ebola outbreak containment, the answer to “How to prevent an outbreak” appears to be in the swift response and collaboration of governments, health professionals and the cooperation of individuals.
The series includes multiple storylines, from border control and immigration, to a private company making groundbreaking discoveries in the development of influenza vaccine. Pandemic highlights the individual and collaborative endeavours of many scientists and medical professionals around the globe as they respond to and monitor sources of potential outbreak in animal and human populations. One of its central themes is the connected health of wildlife, humans and the ecosystem.
The one point of contention for any health professional watching would be the face masks worn below the nose on a number of health providers as the camera pans past scenes of intense patient assessment. However, Overall, Pandemic is a well-rounded, timely overview of the human effort required for pathogen surveillance, scientific response and the important work of outbreak management.
I give this series a 4/5 rating.
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