Netflix’s ‘Coronavirus, Explained’ Docuseries review: Tells you everything there is to know without freaking you out!

While China had been wrapped up with the Coronavirus since November last year, a lot of other parts of the world were affected starting early this year. Many world leaders downplayed the Coronavirus initially, but the sudden intensity of the virus’ spread alarmed a lot of nations, and so began the lockdowns and pleas for social distancing in various parts of the world.

With the virus taking on a large part of the planet, some panic was bound to be created. Clearly, all the push notifications, news alerts, misinformed forward messages, social media posts, were not working to keep things calm. With so much information out there, it’s hard enough to keep up with news, let alone fake news.

While some continue to educate themselves about the virus, others try to distance themselves so as to avoid any sort of misinformation at all.

Amid this, as part of Netflix’s Explained series, comes a new docu-series — Coronavirus, Explained – which is a perfect pick for anyone who wants answers to questions to questions such as: What is a virus? What is Coronavirus? How was it named COVID-19? How did it spread? How deadly is it? What is quarantine? How can Coronovirus be treated? Who is working on COVID-19 vaccines?

The documentary talks about why the virus infects more men than women!
The episode all track the timeline of the virus' outbreak in the world.

Personally, the best thing I liked about the first episode of the docuseries is that it provides very balanced information, without scaring the viewer. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about reviewing this show, since the lockdown and all the news we’re saturated with already takes a toll on one’s mental health. I didn’t want to watch a scary documentary about how pandemics are caused and their morbid results, to make me any more anxious than I already am.

But it did none of that.

To begin with, JK Simmon’s fatherly tone narrating the entire episode keeps your emotions in check.

As for what you can expect from the show – if you have been following the news of the outbreak of the virus since the beginning, you may already know most of what’s being explained in the episode. However, I can see four reasons why this docu-series is pertinent at the moment:

  1. Despite lockdowns and quarantines, we still have people around us, who are either still arguing about the seriousness of the pandemic or are just not taking enough precautions and putting themselves and people around them in danger. For them, this is a great recco!
  2. For anyone looking for information on the virus for their own knowledge, or for research on a project or report, Coronavirus, Explained puts all the information known thus far in one place pretty well.
  3. The episode also takes us back to philanthropist Bill Gates and the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning the world about the world’s preparedness for a pandemic exactly like this, before COVID-19’s outbreak.
  4. A really great take-away from this episode was from an interview of Bill Gates, where he talks about how every country prepares for war and invests so much in their military, but there is no bigger war than a pandemic that threatens the existence of all humans on the planets. He stresses the importance of investing in medical research for every country.
Bill Gates was interview in May 2019 for an earlier episode called Pandemic, where he talked about the chances and the world's preparedness for such an outbreak.

As against the other documentaries that are part of the Explained series, ‘Coronavirus, Explained’ is a series in itself. I am presuming that’s done so that as and when a little more is known about the virus, the vaccines, the treatments, this docuseries can be expanded with new episodes.

I will definitely recommend that everyone watch this episode. It breaks down the cause, effect, and solution to COVID-19 in a very simple manner, and it is only 26 minutes and 12 seconds long. And the end of the episode is hopeful and beautiful, and will be that little ray of positivity you may be looking for that day!


As for the ‘Coronavirus, Explained’ episodes to come, one of which is expected to release “this summer”, I would like to see more about the impact of the virus’ outbreak on the environment. We have been reading mixed reports about the skies clearing up and nature repairing itself, and various environmental restoration projects and movements being hurt at the same time. I would also like the future episodes to talk more about ‘Herd Immunity’, which has a passing mention in this episode.

Also, while the current episode already tries to touch upon the things we can do differently to stop such a pandemic taking place again, I’d like to see an entire episode dedicated to that.

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