Back in February we spoke to Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague,
in an episode we called "Black Swans"
. The coronavirus had yet to make landfall in the US but the anxiety was building. After the segment aired, New York Times critic Wesley…
told us that after he heard the part where Garrett described her role as a consultant on the movie,
" he felt compelled to rewatch the 2011 thriller. In the film, competency — specifically, within federal government agencies — is the solution to a destructive crisis. This is comforting to watch, like a sort of public health "West Wing." It is also unnerving, and heavy, to watch the thrilling procedural un-spool as people, on- and off-screen, die. Brooke spoke to Morris in March about how for him, it was the pandemic film that most perfectly fit with the current moment — down to Kate Winslet, playing a dogged pathogenic detective, reminding her colleague to stop touching his face.