Listen: Why Everyone Is Watching Contagion

A guide to culture in this anxious moment

On this episode of Social Distance, the Atlantic culture writers Sophie Gilbert and David Sims join to advise us on some purposeful ways to escape in place.

Listen to the episode here:

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Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • Sophie Gilbert: Some people, when they are feeling anxious or lonely, they want to watch shows in which people are equally or even more anxious and lonely … because it makes them feel better. You feel less alone … and this to me explains a little bit why so many people now watch, you know, Contagion and Outbreak, because it’s kind of comforting to see people in similar or worse situations to yourself.
  • David Sims: There’s not a lot of great drama that revolves around people being at home and feeling cooped up and weird—great drama comes from social interaction, from romance and conflict and, you know, personalities clashing. And that’s sort of going to be a funny thing to reckon with as this goes on.