Forget about global warming, scientists think that the zombie apocalypse needs funding for study! Well, sort of. Tara C. Smith of the Zombie Research Society, Omaha Chapter has published an article in the December issue of the esteemed British Medical Journal. She reviewed the zombie genre from books, films and TV shows, and detailed the causes and impact of the various contagious scenarios. Her conclusion is that the CDC and FEMA plans for dealing with such an outbreak are woefully inadequate. Humanity faces dire consequences unless more research is done!
Okay, it′s not April Fool′s Day but it is the holiday season. Yeah, I could do the usual ′hit piece′ about Barack Obama heading off for another multi-million dollar vacation for the next few weeks in Hawaii. I already wrote today about Star Wars, which will be the only real thing people will care about this weekend. Donald Trump? Haven′t you had enough of him already? So why not zombies? We love′em, don′t we?
Tara Smith starts off quoting another zombie expert, Matt Mogk, who defines zombies with 3 criteria. ″A zombie is a reanimated human corpse, it is relentlessly aggressive, and its biologically infected and infectious.″ Mogk also adds ″rage zombie″ to the mix which is where the subject is infected and violent but is not dead. There are many methods for how the outbreaks begin. Most involve either some form of toxin or pathogen. However it starts, the next major issue is how quickly it spreads.
As we recently saw with the latest Ebola outbreak, confining a contagion is difficult. Before rapid transportation systems were developed, from the train to the jetliner, most people rarely traveled more than a dozen miles from where they were born. Diseases like ′The Black Plague′ often took years, if not decades, to work themselves around. When Ebola victims began turning up in west Africa, nearly every nation on the continent restricted travel. But an important factor not always considered is that of self-quarantining.
When somebody gets sick, really sick, they tend to crawl into bed and isolate themselves. Eventually, the number of infectious people lowers to a manageable level. But with zombies, we have a whole other problem. When the infected die, they reanimate and go out in search of food, meaning you and I. The only way self-quarantining works is if the zombie had died in a place where he or she could not exit on their own, due to a lock or some other inability to exit. Instead, they roam around spreading the disease to more people as they feast.
Our ability to fight the contagion will eventually become more limited as the zombie apocalypse progresses. Tara Smith points this fact out in her article in the British Medical Journal. Once the plague starts, it will spread rapidly and quickly overwhelm all capacity of our governments have to deal with it. First responders, particularly medical personnel, will probably become infected themselves during the initial stages of the outbreak. At the beginning, they won′t be certain what they are dealing with. Once they do, the facilities needed to develop a cure or vaccine will soon breakdown. Either from a lack of personnel or supplies. Even if a lab does find a cure, manufacturing it in mass quantities will be more difficult as the plague continues. At some point, there will be too few skilled technicians, scientists, engineers, etc., to make enough cure and distribute it.
So, it does seem that the government should develop the means to combat a zombie apocalypse. When it does happen, it will probably be too late to throw a plan together. We will be forced to use plans meant for other types of doomsday scenarios, which may prove inadequate. While Tara Smith′s article in the BMJ may be ′tongue-in-cheek′, she does hit the mark that people need to be prepared for any disaster. The folks who will survive a zombie apocalypse will be those ′Doomsday Preppers′ who prepare to survive a wide range of potential scenarios. From economic collapses to EMP waves from solar flares and storms. There is little difference between defending yourself from a zombie or a burglar. Just don′t get bit or splattered by blood.