Titanic actress Kate Winslet said that her role in the film Contagion helped her to prepare for the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the movie, I played an epidemiologist trying to stop the spread of a hypothetical virus. To prepare for the role, I spent time with some of the best public health professionals in the world. And what was one of the most important things they taught me? Wash your hands like your life depends on it because right now, in particular, it just might” she said.

Winslet, armed with that knowledge, started to take precautions long before the worldwide call for face masks was made. 

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“People thought I was crazy because I had been walking around wearing a mask for weeks, going into the grocery store and wiping everything down with isopropyl alcohol and wearing gloves. Then suddenly March 13 came around, and people were like, ‘F—k, where do I get one of those masks?’” she explained.

What frightens her most about the virus is that there are still so many unanswered questions.

“I think it’s the unknown element of this virus. We just don’t know how it’s going to affect any given individual. I think that was what’s so terrifying. I’m a very practical, straightforward person, and if I have to respond to an emergency, I just go into that zone.”

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The actress also revealed that two people she knows have contracted the virus.

“One was in L.A. and was very lucky to get on a trial using convalescent plasma and did really, really well in the space of, like, 72 hours after the treatment,” Winslet said. “And a dialect coach who lives in London has had it, was in hospital for 11 weeks, is out, and has had every lung test, blood test, blood pressure test, and is clear of everything but just cannot get better — is breathless, lethargic, still feels very unwell.”

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