(READERSUPPORTEDNEWS.ORG) — Steven Soderbergh's recent film Contagion is the most plausible experience of a global pandemic plague you're likely to see until the real thing strikes. Stark, beautiful in its own terrifying way, and all too believable, the story tracks the swift progress of a deadly airborne virus... from Hong Kong to Minneapolis... Tokyo to London... from a handful of peanuts to a credit card to the cough of strangers on a subway. Rarely does a film issue such an inescapable invitation to think, "It could happen. That could be us. What would I do?"
Perhaps because the movie had invaded my head, for several days I kept coming across stories in the news about contagious disease. And the conflict between religious beliefs and immunization. Nothing new here about the basics: All fifty states require some specific vaccinations for kids. Yet all of them grant exemptions for medical reasons - say, for a child with cancer. Almost all of them grant religious exemptions. And 20 states allow exemptions for personal, moral, or other beliefs.