In the middle of The Paramedic (2020), the radio news announced:

"Friday, January 3, 2020... According to information from Chinese media, the cause could be a virus that originated in a live animal market in Wuhan."

So it is strongly suggested that the movie is set at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

What is the first movie that is set in a world having the COVID-19 pandemic?

More precisely:

  • Only feature-length movies are considered.
  • The movie has to be fiction, not a documentary about COVID-19.
  • The world in which the movie is sets has COVID-19. This could be deduced, for example, by TV news in the movie.
  • The events of the movie do not necessarily happen during COVID-19. They can happen before or after.

Honorable mentions (not fitting all criteria)

  • The Paramedic. As mentioned in the question, the movie only strongly suggest that it is the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, but COVID-19 is not mentioned explicitly.

  • Love in the Time of Corona an American romantic comedy television miniseries created by Joanna Johnson that premiered on Freeform on August 22, 2020. (suggested by Darth Locke)

  • Social Distance upcoming (October 15, 2020) series for Netflix. (suggested by Darth Locke)

  • N95 by Ivan Theophilus, short film has been published on 8th March. (suggested by Matt)

  • I know that there is a TV series for Freeform titled, "Love in the Time of Corona" (Aug 22) and another upcoming series for Netflix titled, "Social Distance" (Oct. 15th) that also takes place during the pandemic (and was shot during the Pandemic)...not sure about other series or feature films, but I will look into it. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 13:38
  • Polish director Patryk Vega is making a movie about "an epidemy of loneliness" which will be set during the COVID-19 pandemy, he even shot some scenes of the empty streets of Poland's capital city to use in the movie, when the lockdown began. But it will premiere on 7th of February, 2021, so the Dutch movie from the accepted answer still holds as the correct answer.
    – TK-421
    Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 7:45
  • Though not specifically Covid, the 1995 movie Outbreak occurs in very Covid-like scenario. Although, at the time, I believe the movie was mirroring the spread of HIV. Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 15:08
  • Not a film, so just a comment. But entire last season of Superstore was set amid the pandemic imdb.com/title/tt4477976
    – Etzeitet
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 9:16

5 Answers 5


I think Groeten van Gerri (2020) (Greetings from Gerri), a Dutch movie premiered on 25th of June 2020, might be a good contender. Description from IMDb:

While everyone is at home because of the Corona virus, chemistry teacher Gerri van Vlokhoven (45) goes viral in his not-so-white underwear. During an inspired virtual lesson to his high school students, Gerri jumped up to give a demonstration, forgetting that he didn't put pants on that morning. The phone is ringing off the hook. Gerri has never been so embarrassed, but as it turns out, has never been so popular either.

As listed in the Trivia section on IMDb, it was not the first Dutch movie that mentions COVID-19 (it is short film Op Gepaste Afstand (2020) (translated: At an appropriate distance)), but Groeten van Gerri is the first feature film to do so.


Corona Zombies (2020)

The Wikipedia description is as follows:

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, the film stars Cody Renee Cameron as Barbie, a woman who finds herself facing an outbreak of zombies infected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). ... Corona Zombies was released digitally through Full Moon Features' website and app on April 10, 2020.

Writing for The Guardian shortly after the movie's release, Stuart Heritage said that it "barely qualifies as a film" but praised its intentions and its midnight-movie self-awareness:

Turned around in 28 days with every member of the cast and crew under self-isolation, Corona Zombies is actually the result of a deft sleight of hand. It only has one actor – Cody Renee Cameron, last seen playing a prostitute in Vince Gilligan’s El Camino – with the rest stitched together from Donald Trump soundbites [and] that viral clip of the spring break idiots. Primarily, though, the film is made up of redubbed footage from two old zombie B-movies, Hell of the Living Dead and Zombies vs Strippers. Corona Zombies is, in effect, the What’s Up, Tiger Lily? of the lockdown age. ...

It’s a bit like watching a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode, which is no bad thing. ... Schlocky, tongue-in-cheek, over the top. It exists to undermine the thing that we’re all scared of. Its intention cannot be faulted.

Here's the trailer, if you're still on the fence after that description:

  • 1
    Ain't no rule that says a dog can't play basketball, and ain't no requirement in the OP that says the movie has to be any good. Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 21:19

A feature length film takes some time to produce. But a short film can be completed quite fast, so I've looked for short films in order to answer the question.

One of the earliest fictional films is N95, by Ivan Theophilus, which has been published on 8th March. It's avaible on YouTube.

Of course, it's nearly impossbile to say which film is for sure the first one and probably some more will be suggested here.

  • Looking at short film is very clever. However I have in mind feature-length film. I added that to the question.
    – preBob
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 14:47
  • 8
    @preBob Granted, but let's not move the goal posts too much further after every single answer. ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 15:25

"Lockdown all'italiana" (Italian lockdown) is an Italian romantic comedy movie to be released on October 15, 2020 that features two couples living together during the lockdown that occured in Italy.

  • 2
    That's not before than the one in the question.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 16:55

Love in Dangerous Times (2020)

With the world in pandemic, Jason and Sorrel meet on a dating app and build a romance as the situation gets worse.

  • 2
    That came out on November 3rd. The existing answers all came out earlier.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 10:02
  • ; Hilarity ensues. Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 18:02

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