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EPISODE 92 — What Zombie Movies Get Right About Real Pandemics

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Last year's worldwide Ebola outbreak brought into harsh reality the kind of imagery we typically only see in movies like 'Outbreak' or 'Contagion': the faceless officials in hazmat suits, the quarantine tents, the sudden fear of anyone who sneezes on an airplane. Though over 10,000 lives have been lost worldwide, it bears reminding the amount of US lives lost to the virus: one. So despite being bombarded with this cinematic imagery, it's clear in retrospect that we weren't in that much danger after all.


Was our hysteria overblown? Or was the awareness brought on by the media panic the driving force behind the virus' containment?


When our perception of pandemics has only ever been framed in the visual language of movies, it's hard to grasp the actual science behind how these things spread. In this special bonus episode of The Cracked Podcast, Jack O'Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) are joined by GE's chief medical officer Dr. David Barash to discuss Ebola's outbreak and containment, and the relationship between Hollywood pandemics and real ones.

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