It’s finally happened. The dead have risen and the living are on the menu. People are panicking. The army is obliterating as many hordes as they can but it’s a losing battle. What’s a person to do? Well, according to this article, you should go to the Rocky Mountains.
Researchers used models to determine the spread of something infectious like a zombie virus. They discovered that during outbreaks of any kind, disease reaches rural areas more slowly, so fleeing the cities is a no-brainer (pardon the pun). Therefore, the Rocky Mountains are ideal because few people live in them and they are difficult to reach.
My husband and I like to talk about what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. For us, it’s a game for boring car rides and certainly beats out “I Spy”. He’s adamant about seeking shelter behind the walls of an unfinished gated community in our town or heading for the Florida Keys. However, as I often point out, fleeing populated areas would be ideal and the problem with the Keys is the matter of actually reaching them. I’ve lived in Florida. I don’t think any part of it is what you would call truly rural. While the Keys might be easily defensible, it’s a matter of getting to them without becoming an hors d’oeuvre.
At any rate, the zombie apocalypse is a big, shambling metaphor for our fears of biological warfare and new viruses for which we have no cure. Wondering about what to do in the face of herds of the living dead is a rehearsal for what to do in the event of a pandemic. Basic rules for surviving The Walking Dead can also help in surviving Contagion. I’ve listed a few rules I think might come in handy whether you’re faced with the walking dead or a viral outbreak.
1. Don’t Panic.
Seriously. If you panic, you’ll do something stupid. And stupidity usually leads to death or at least very serious injury.
2. Take care of yourself and take care of others.
Use caution, of course, with someone who is potentially infected. But for each person you save, that’s one less person you have to bury (or kill in the case of zombies). And by taking care of yourself (and that means finding food, shelter, and water), you extend your chances of survival. A side note on priorities: Remember that, ideally, a human needs to have a gallon of water a day to survive. We will die of dehydration in a matter of days. However, we can survive over three weeks without food if we’re in good health. So, find drinkable water first, then food.
3. Leave populated areas.
Don’t go to your sister’s in DC. Don’t go to your cousin’s in Orlando. Go to the freakin’ Rocky Mountains if you can. Or the wilds of Canada. Find the most remote place, create a secure shelter, and hunker down until it blows over.
In real life, all viruses have a lifespan. Eventually, it will burn itself out. And humans are extremely resilient. Someone will find a way to combat a new threat, be it the Spanish Influenza or zombies. Things won’t necessarily get as bad as Hollywood has demonstrated.
A zombie apocalypse will never happen. It just simply isn’t possible. However, it is possible for a virus to spread and cause an epidemic. In the end, surviving that isn’t all that different from surviving zombies.