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Matt Hancock’s vaccine rollout was inspired by Contagion. Here’s what he should watch next

It’s understandable – if troubling – when politicians are watching disaster movies for tips on dealing with a global catastrophe. Anybody got a number for The Rock?

Like many people, one of the first things I did after the March lockdown in the UK was watch Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion. I was completely clueless about the nature of infectious diseases, and I was foolish enough to hope that a Hollywood film might provide the answers.

Which is a tremendously stupid thing to do, I’ll admit. The world is full of extraordinary epidemiologists who have dedicated their careers to researching and preparing for the sort of global pandemic that has brought humanity to its knees. If I had actually been interested in learning anything about Covid, I could have read some of their papers, or watched some of their interviews. But no. Instead I watched a made-up film about a made-up disease because, in part, it starred several pretty women. What an idiot. What an absolute, unforgivable bonehead I was for thinking that it would be of any use whatsoever.

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