Friday, May 8, 2009

Zombie Apocolypse update

Despite the fact authorities are now down playing the seriousness of the H1N1 virus, and the spread of the virus is being greatly reduced from what was anticipated, Fact is the numbers of the infected continue to rise and so does the body count. From the 26 reported deaths and 1085 infected persons as of my last post, the official count is now 44, with 2384 reported cases as of this posting. While apparently these numbers are still within the comfort levels for most of the authorities, it does however indicate that with still no known vaccine or treatment if the virus continues to spread in an exponential fashion half of the world's population will be infected my mid August. And with a current mortality rate maintaining approximately 2% of the infected population would translate to 68 million deaths. Now naturally these figures are quite rudimentary, utilizing minimal data at the moment not fully factoring in such variables as comparative infection in third and first world nations, incubation periods and then there is the dynamic of when the dead actually start rising and killing and further infecting healthy humans. So clearly these figures will be dramatically different in the coming weeks and months.

Unfortunately as we have not seen much evidence of the dead rising at the moment as the numbers are still few, it is still hard to clearly identify this as a Zombie outbreak, and beyond that it is impossible to determine what type of zombies are we dealing with. Although we can comfortably rule out Traditional or Voodoo Zombies, both Modern and Contemporary Zombies are both still plausible (see Know your Zombies). Early indications would rule out supernatural origins, and the Long Dead zombie however.

As the authorities seem to be regaining control of the media and the panicked hype is lessening somewhat, this could indicate that any clear evidence about the nature of the outbreak as it relates to the living dead could, and is quite likely to become more obscured from the general public. One factor that greatly worries my in this scenario is that if there in fact is an airborne flu-like component, and how that will effect the transmission of the virus. Utilizing our current base of knowledge regarding zombie outbreaks, transmission has been exclusively through direct contact via open wounds, etc. Bearing in mind there is currently no concrete evidence to the contrary here, beyond the authorities persistence about this being a flu virus. If airborne transmission does become a factor, this could have a dramatic effect on your zombie plan. For example remaining in a densely populated urban environment waiting for the chattel to evacuate the cities could be a monumental mistake in not getting as far from the vestiges of humanity as soon as possible. Similarly the size of your group, or secure community could be more detrimental than beneficial. Again I stress that it is far to early with far too little information to start amending your current zombie plan yet, but it may be well worth your while to begin evaluating and adding for these yet unexpected possibilities.

For the un-initiated I would like to at this time make direct reference to Max Brooks book, the Zombie Survival Guide. For those without a Zombie survival plan I would highly recommend purchasing a copy. But Please be aware, that as good as the book is I steadfastly disagree with a degree of what he has included. Firstly he has unequivocally dismissed the class of Contemporary Zombie as being a construct of Hollywood, and such Zombies do not exist. With this as a foundation for his book, it makes it far simpler to put forth a guide to zombie survival that only factors in one type of zombie. From a publishing standpoint this is a very intelligent decision. However, in contrast, I believe that the silver screen has shown us that no two zombie outbreaks are the same, and that you must be flexible in your planning and the execution of your plans if you intend to be successful in surviving a Zombie outbreak. Nor do I agree with some of his weaponry assessments (see a further guide)or the value of apartment complexes or high-rise buildings as secure places (try as you might, without some form of explosive which would severely damage the structure of said building, destroying the staircases is not practicable. Dawn of the Dead has shown how good a choice apartment complexes are IMO.)

G Macabre

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