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Culture

The Best Virus-Themed Movies, Books, And Video Games To Entertain You During Quarantine

By Keelia Clarkson·· 5 min read
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Warner Bros.

The time for self-quarantining has come in America, with hundreds of thousands of citizens being told to stay home from work and school, practice social distancing, and refrain from unnecessary travel.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will be stuck at home for the next few weeks as our leaders and medical professionals scramble to get the Coronavirus under control. And with being stuck at home comes a lot more time on our hands. Some of us will still be working from home, and others still doing schoolwork. But the more time we spend social distancing and self-quarantining, the more cabin fever we’ll eventually come down with. 

To help take up some of your time sequestered away at home, here are the best virus-themed movies, video games, and books:

Movies

1. It Comes At Night 

Joel Edgerton and Christopher Abbott star in this hauntingly realistic 2017 horror flick. Centered around two families co-existing in one house in the midst of a horrifyingly contagious outbreak, and throwing in a healthy dose of suspense and unease, this film perfectly captures the devastating effects of allowing fear to be the place we operate from, forcing its viewers to question: what would you have done to protect yourself and your family? Available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

2. 28 Days Later

Imagine waking up from a coma to find the hospital you lay in not only empty but alarmingly disheveled and devoid of any fellow humans - and venturing outside the hospital into London’s normally quite busy streets proves to be no different, either. This 2002 zombie horror film starring Cillian Murphy will not only keep you thoroughly invested at every turn, but it’s also bound to give you a few good jump scares as survivors band together and attempt to outsmart the zombies roaming the earth. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Hulu.

3. Contagion

Perhaps this film hits a little too close to home these days - after all, the plot feels quite plausible. But that’s part of what makes it a must-watch. Featuring a large all star cast (Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, and Jude Law), Contagion depicts the frighteningly fast spread of a deadly virus around the globe, showing just how serious and distressing to the human race pandemics can become in a short timespan, while scientists race to discover the cure. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Hulu.

 Video Games

1. The Last of Us

One of the top-rated video games of all time, The Last of Us tells the story of an outbreak spanning over twenty years, in which the victims of infection become terrifying, zombie-like creatures. We’re introduced to Joel, a smuggler, and Ellie, a teenage girl - both with their own baggage, history, and demons to fight. But their father-daughter-like friendship, blooming in a world filled with death, gives players an emotionally and artistically sweeping tale that strikes to the very heart of what it means to be human. Find it here on Amazon.

2. Days Gone 

The story begins two years after the outbreak of a disastrous global pandemic that not only killed off a good portion of the population but also transformed millions more into aggressive cannibalistic zombies - which are constantly evolving. And when Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter, discovers that his wife, who he thought had been murdered two years ago, may still be alive, players follow along on the journey to try to find her. Find it here on Amazon.

Books

1. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel 

At the start of this story, the fictional Georgia flu has begun its destructive run - and when we fast forward twenty years later, it’s killed most of the world’s population. From there, we follow Kristen and her musical troupe’s journey as they search for their missing friends and discover the dark happenings of a small town. Find it here on Amazon.

2. The Stand, by Stephen King 

When a severely infectious strain of influenza called “Project Blue” is accidentally leaked at a U.S. Army base, chaos ensues - especially because this particular strain is immune to antibodies and vaccines, making its pathway to destruction a straight shot. With less than 1% of the world’s population left over, two very different people arise as the possible new leader of the survivors. Who will be chosen, and what does it mean for the future of humankind? Find it here on Amazon.

3. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton 

After an unknown microorganism finds its way to a tiny town in Arizona and kills off its residents, leaving only two survivors, scientists find themselves in a race against the clock as they attempt to figure out what could’ve wiped out the entire town. Little do they know what they’re actually up against. Find it here on Amazon.

Closing Thoughts

Quarantining is bound to get old pretty quickly - but watching movies, reading books, and playing through fantastic video games can help it all go by just a little bit faster. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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