Outbreak Movie Analysis Assignment



Outbreak Movie Analysis Assignment

The mercenary camp in the Motaba River Valley of Zaire was bombed by American military forces in 1967 because of the disease that hit the camp and had a fast incubation period. General McClintock and Officer Ford were initiators of the mission aimed at eradicating the disease (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995). The mission was launched after the experts conducted a survey and concluded that the Motaba virus was the most dangerous that humanity had ever encountered.

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A decision to exterminate the whole camp is unethical. In the beginning, the experts arrived at the camp, made research, collected information, and promised to come back with help and medications. American representatives gave hope but then thwart it. The decision to kill infected victims and doctors that assisted them in the camp is egoistic and seems to be the easiest method to cope with the disease. Moreover, the hidden truth led to fatal consequences years after the emergency. It confirms that unethical behavior was driven not only by the desire to save national security but also by personal intentions to create a biological weapon.

Outbreak Film Critique

The disease affected many people in the mercenary camp in the Motaba Valley because of spoiled water (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995). Other tribes also got infected soon as the disease was not cured with serum, and the quality of water was not improved. The mission in 1967 had no chance to be kept in secret as nobody cared about the carrier of the disease.

After the Motaba Virus was identified for the second time, virologists were sent to Zaire. They conducted the investigation and concluded that the water became the main carrier of the virus. Also, they noted that people could not be infected through airborne transmission (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995). After they came back to the laboratory in Boston, they conducted a survey and insisted on warning society about the dangerous virus. According to the investigation, the virus destroyed all body cells in a couple of days.

The epidemic was tracked territorially in the United States as a result of the restricted animal distribution. Mass mortality in Cedar Creek, California, attracted the attention of virologists. When they arrived there, they explored the symptoms of the patients and the conditions that promoted the spread of the disease and high mortality, similar to the one caused by the Motaba Virus. What is more, the virus provoked an immediate epidemic as it was followed by airborne transmission. Virologists compared two strains. They took one of them from the first victim of Motaba Virus in the U.S., Jimbo Scott, and the other strain was taken from victims of mass infection (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995).

The last one had distinct spikes that meant the code changed, which allowed the virus to survive longer in the air. It was a mutation of the virus. To conquer the virus, virologists were obliged to find the host animal that led to the mutation. The host animal was a monkey whose antibodies were mixed with an experimental serum that the experts developed during the first splash of the virus back in 1967 year.

The Montana Virus became even more dangerous after it mutated as the code of the virus became less susceptible to outer factors (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995). The incubation period became faster; the disease spread through airborne transmission, which now was the easiest method to get infected. People experienced harder and more painful symptoms. Also, the mutation complicated the search of the host, which resulted in a greater number of deaths.

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Many movies present the idea of sacrificing a person’s life for the benefit of another person or society. A good example is a soldier that is ready to die for the native country or the officer that covers the back of the mate. However, the film Outbreak presents another kind of sacrifice, which is the decision to take the life of some people to provide welfare for others. In this regard, it is unfair to make a decision instead of somebody and neglect their life. Modern society does not value a human’s life, and some authorities are ready to commit a crime for personal benefit.

The decision to sacrifice human life for the benefit of other people is not the way people have to solve the problem. No one is allowed to control the life of others and especially deprive another person of it as it is an act of humiliation of human rights and confining the freedom of the individual. The film Outbreak presents the exact situation when the decision of military authorities to kill army camps did not result in the saving of others’ lives. On the contrary, keeping the mission in the secret led to the death of hundreds of innocent citizens.

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The movie Outbreak clearly describes not only the real hierarchy in relationships and the influence of the status on people and their lives but also the issue of virus mutation due to the development of medical treatment. Unethical behavior, which becomes the central issue of the storyline, can appear familiar to many viewers, and I am not an exception since I sometimes happen to be a witness of various unethical behavior. Besides, I have actual examples from my life when people with lower status were negatively impacted by it.

The film also emphasizes the incautious behavior of people. People are inattentive to the cautions that everyone has to take into consideration to prevent the infection. A boy on a plane who barely bites the cookie of the stranger is a great example that illustrates the neglect of basic hygiene rules (Katz, Kopelson, & Peterson, 1995). Therefore, people have to follow main hygiene principles, such as washing fruits and vegetables before consumption and hands during the day, avoiding contact with people who have contagious diseases, not ignoring vaccination, not abusing antibiotics, and staying isolated during epidemic alerts (Georgia Department of Public Health, n.d). These preventive measures and attentiveness to one’s actions may even save a human’s life.

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