Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Virus

Visiting the hospital the other day made me wish I’d fallen victim to a real life zombie virus. As I roamed the corridors, a man sporting a seemingly healthy complexion passed my wife and me around the corner. Negotiating the maze of hallways, we saw the man pass us by again. This was no accident, I thought. As we slipped into the nurses’ station, he had passed by once more behind us. It’s with some apprehension I thought he was following us. Yet, that wasn’t the case. He simply was tracing the same route minute-by-minute, regardless if we were there or not. He was a true walker.

Are we safe?
Are we safe?

This strange episode left me with the idea that we’re searching everywhere for the zombie virus to appear but instead, perhaps, we already have it flourishing in our society. We just don’t know about it.

In this edition of Monday Mayhem, I want to explore two common diseases and one psychological condition that correlate to symptoms matching those of zombie physiological behavioral patterns. This may get gory, so be forewarned.

The Common Cold—Also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, and acute coryza, the common cold has over 200 strains at its disposal to which it can render us helpless in no time. Between ten days and three weeks, the virus can wreak havoc with our immune system, causing fatigue, loss of appetite, headache and muscle ache. Fever tends to happen with infants and young children. The common cold falls under the coronaviruses umbrella of bugs, the same family of viruses responsible for SARS. Similar to many of the zombie viruses written about in fiction, the common cold’s ferocity of transmission makes it a good candidate for an apocalyptic mutation, less the bite, of course.

Coronavirus (Photo credit: CDC)
Coronavirus (Photo credit: CDC)

Flesh-Eating Disease—Going by the medical name necrotizing fasciitis, the disease consumes tissues and layers of skin transforming everything in its wake into a rotten mass. During the course of its growth, the epidermis takes on a dark appearance. If left untreated, the infection can spread rapidly throughout the body, which would then lead to death. Not a trivial matter, much like a zombie virus, this disease shows the effects of death on a living being. I’m not about to post photos of what the disease looks like in full bloom, consuming a human body. The only difference with a zombie virus is the victim’s ability to retain cognitive reasoning.

Catatonia—Although not a disease in itself but a syndrome, catatonia presents an interesting set of symptoms that one may speculate comes directly from a zombie book. Patients of the condition exhibit peculiar motor movements such as stiff posturing, posses and grimacing. They also demonstrate purposeless actions when entrenched in a state of catatonic excitement, making it one of the most dangerous mental states in psychiatry. Brought about by other mental illnesses (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia), catatonia bears striking similarities to those infected by a zombie virus, where the victims roam about without direction, expressing no visible sign of sentience.

The common cold, flesh-eating disease and catatonia are a few of the diseases/conditions I thought of right off the top of my head when comparing zombie virus symptoms with real life aliments. I’m sure you can think of more, considering I’ve only scratched the surface. Who knows, perhaps one day I may revisit this topic citing controversial psychological studies as the basis for an in-depth study of my own. Until then, we can indulge in some fun speculation as to the nature of the zombie virus.


Where do you think the zombie virus will come from?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

20 thoughts on “Zombie Virus

  1. I am a missionary pastor in Nigeria. I am also a retired medical doctor. I have worked in Nigeria as a doctor for 20 years. I was born in Romania. It was in Nigeria that I had to learn ’emergency creativity’. How to improvise to save as many lives as possible. I had to do many things not written in the medical books. If I wrote to the Medical Association about things we did to save lives, they will take away our license. Now I see the same passion pushed by need and desperation among the doctors and nurses in the US. They have to invent things to save lives. This virus forces us to rethink our priorities. To prune our ideas. To purge our pride. Jesus said that worry is worst than useless. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27). The answer is no! Worry cannot add anything good! Worry can only hurt the little peace I have today. So I chose to rejoice daily in the knowing that God is in charge! Praise the Lord!

  2. I’m already ahead of the virus..since I Am the Virus. More or less as I have a rare genetic blood disorder but non contagious in the cancerous way. They told me my DNA is ‘mutated’, yet I can’t help wonder how I look human still but gotta be grateful on that part of course. I often feel like I’m in an epidemic bio hazard facility myself, when I’m often at hospital. Just have to be strong to fight through it.

  3. Now every time I get the sniffles I’ll be wondering if it’s the beginning of the dreaded epidemic of the undead. Thanks for that. Ha!

    I’m assuming you watched The Walking Dead’s season finale last night??

    1. Yes, I did watch the season finale of TWD. And yes, I will not say anything to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. Er, what a shocker! Oops, said too much… 😉

  4. I have to say I think it’s already with us, just lying in wait until its next mutation takes it the direction where it becomes viable in pandemic terms and highly communicable. It’s a scary, but sobering thought. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am…

  5. “Visiting the hospital the other day made me wish I’d fallen victim to a real life zombie virus….” YOU NUT! I think the same thing whenever I’m at a survivalist thing or gun show. I’m like, “Lock and Load! Let’s get this party started!”

    Just the latest brilliant exploration of zombie topics by one of my favorite writers about the undead. Nice work.

  6. I was thinking that it would come from a bad food source that had been contaminated by genetic manipulation. A mutation that takes o n a whole new life when triggered by ingestation when not fully cooked. I.e. rare to medium rare types of protein.
    Where some but not all humans are infected….

  7. Well, there’s pica, a disorder in which the sufferer is compelled to eat unusual things. Pica sufferers commonly eat things like rocks and dirt, but it also has an array of subtypes, where the sufferers eat things like paint, hair and wool, or…we’re talking zombies here, so you knew this was coming, right?…engage in auto-cannibalism.

    Monday morning good times! 🙂

  8. I like this blog, Jack.

    It does make you wonder, doesn’t it. It also points to where the zombie apocalypse will begin. In hospital. Why? Because a person with nasopharyngitis will take a family member or friend to hospital for a routine blood test. In that hospital, that good Samaritan will contract necrotizing fasciitis and become catatonic. Eventually he or she will get bored with their new-found lack of sensation and begin walking around. Of course, they will be hungry by now and start gnawing on something warm and fresh. Small wonder because they will also be blind, their eyes are now necrotic.

    Does that work? 🙂

  9. I’ve always wondered about it being a mutated strain of Influenza since that disease changes every year. Either that or something caused by contaminated food, but that’s mostly because of the ‘zombie eating flesh’ thing. Seems to make sense to me that the cause would be related to the endless hunger. Come to think of it, what happens to flesh ingested by zombies? Do they have a working digestive system?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.