COVID-19 and Outbreak comparisons


Megan Dinkins

COVID-19 and Outbreak comparisons

By: Megan Dinkins


The age-old saying that “art imitates life” has been demonstrated with the current Coronavirus pandemic. Outbreak was a movie about a virus that comes from African monkeys and got spread into the US by the military. This is similar to our current situation in the fact that it was a very random quick-spreading virus that came from another country.


There are many similarities between the movie and COVID-19. Though corona comes from bats and Motaba, the disease in the movie comes from monkeys they both come from animals. There is no vaccine for either disease, though at the end of the movie we are informed that the government had been hiding the cure for it which is a common conspiracy going around currently about the coronavirus.


In both the coronavirus and Outbreak, people are advised to stay home and participate in self-isolation. Much like in real life, the characters in the movie simply ignore the orders given to them.

The diseases themselves, however, are not similar. Motaba is more like ebola while the coronavirus is a strain of the flu. Along with this, there are many other differences like the fact that Motaba takes only 2-3 to kill its victims while COVID-19 takes 2 weeks to kill or for a person to recover depending on its severity.


According to, the coronavirus was first mentioned on December 31 when China alerted the WHO about an unusual case of pneumonia. At this point, China had still been shipping goods to the US and flights to and from China were still going, spreading it to the US. Outbreak has a similar plotline. Donald McClintock, who is a military general in the movie, knew about the virus before it spread to the United States, but kept it a secret to use as a biological weapon. This goes along with a conspiracy theory about the Coronavirus that states that China is using the virus as warfare to weaken the US. It is believed by some that China waited to inform anyone about the virus to attack the US.


Mattison Dinkins believes that movies like Outbreak are just predictions of the Coronavirus. Whether it is or isn’t a prediction, Outbreak shares many similarities with the Coronavirus.