There is a department in most governments in the world that most people don’t know about even though it’s not hidden, but that makes perfect sense to them when they have it explained to them. This department deals with contingency planning. Whenever a new disease rears it’s ugly head they’re the ones who coordinate efforts to deal with the worst possible outcome, when plans for a terrorist attack are intercepted they are the ones who come up with the death toll estimates and best survival plans. Of course they don’t just sit around waiting for these things to happen. When they don’t have anything in particular to deal with they come up with contingency plans for dealing with things like disease outbreaks and other disasters, and keep them up to date with recent technological developments. And when they’re not doing that, they come up with fantastic scenarios like zombie outbreaks and alien invasions and plan for those. Don’t you feel more secure knowing your taxes provide this service?
Yes that’s right folks, somewhere in each of your governments is a group of people figuring out how a zombie apocalypse would work and how best to fight it. However, they aren’t the only ones with zombies on their minds. A group of maths students in Canada have worked with their professor, the strangely named “Robert Smith?” (the question mark is part of the name due to what can only be described as cruel parenting) and come up with a mathematical model of a zombie invasion. The model uses the old fashioned shambling zombies instead of newer running ones, takes it for granted that all zombies pass the infection to their kills and that the incubation period is 24 hours, assumes no new births in the time frame and that nothing in the air is causing further contamination. You know, best case scenario. The result is quite simply terrifying.
A city of 500,000 people would be almost completely wiped out (dead or zombies themselves) in just three days, with very few survivors managing to escape. Sure, there are different plans to deal with the problem but in all but one of the tests three days is the best case scenario. Quarantine is the worst possible thing that can be done, with humankind likely to be wiped out as infection spreads into the quarantine areas. Even if a cure could be found via treatment and the cure returns zombies to their original state (dead or alive) the study believes that this will only be in small numbers, presumably because some of these people have eaten human flesh now. However quick attacks on the zombies should slow down the contamination speed quite a bit, to the point that the entire zombie population could be wiped out within ten days if the eradication is properly coordinated with authorities. Of course this means the death of anyone infected with no hope for a cure, and total destruction of all tangible genetic matter in an incinerator. Imagine the choices you’d have to make in those circumstances. Your nearest and dearest have gotten just a scratch on the ankle from a zombie and they would have to be killed to stop them rising themselves and passing on the infection. Could you do that to them? Could you call someone to do that?
Okay, so we know how to deal with a zombie apocalypse when we get to one, and we know that there are forces within the government whose job it is to come up with a plan to deal with one, but how will we know when one starts? The obvious answer in the movies is to wait until an obviously dead body starts breaking your door down, but that leaves you unprepared with possibly seconds to arm yourself and deal with the reality of what is happening in the world. A better idea would be to join Twitter. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, looking for tweets that say “Yearrrgh, they’re eating my brains!!! OMG, it’s the zombies. This suxxxor!” is a little redundant. Even the most dedicated microblogger isn’t going to do a live blog while they’re eaten alive by zombies (sadly, I suspect this isn’t entirely true and that some people would do just that). Luckily the Boston Police Department keeps it’s own Twitter account and, when asked if they’d keep us updated about zombie attacks, they agreed. So watch that account and you’ll be amongst the first to know about the dead rising from their graves.
It all started with a relatively mundane report on their Twitter feed:
Injured Officer transported to Beth Israel Hospital, human bite to hand, suspect in custody
Following this, a Twitter user asked the question everyone thought of as soon as they heard about the incident:
If that was a zombie bite, would you tell us?
The reply was both unexpected and helpful:
So, there you have it folks, a government agency willing to let you know the moment the zombie apocalypse starts. Combined with the tips in this article you should be a little better prepared to defend yourselves, know that killing everyone infected is the only chance the human race has, and all that’s left is to discuss how to kill the zombies themselves.
I have a 90% chance of surviving a zombie attack.
While most of this article has been assuming that the zombie apocalypse is coming via a virus, those aren’t the only zombies you could possibly face but that’s best left to an entirely different post so for now we’ll just concentrate on the zombies created via some sort of virus. Now I know you’ve seen movies that advice you to shoot them in the head but I’m going to tell something different because you’d have to be very lucky to stop a zombie by shooting them in the head. Yes, you might be able to destroy the brain with a point blank range shotgun blast, yes you might be able to stop their movement by taking out that part of the brain. You also might find yourself being eaten because the shot didn’t hit the part of the brain that it needed to, or didn’t do enough damage to it. A real sure-fire way to deal with any virally created zombie that you come across is to sever the spine. Whether you’re snapping the neck from behind, cutting them in half with a chainsaw, or just stabbing with hedge trimmers and shutting them, once that spine is severed the zombie’s movement will be severely compromised at least and completely stopped in the best case scenarios.
And there you have it, the truth about zombies that your government prays you’ll never have to use. You probably wont, but it never hurts to be prepared.