I’ve always wondered if a zombie apocalypse were to take place now, where would it hit first?
You know, I’ve thought about this question. It’s not one of those precious topics floating around lunchrooms across America. Like, how many Twitter followers does Lady Gaga have? Does Justin Bieber like chocolate chip ice cream? What will Katy Perry choose as her next hair color? Or some other mind-numbing question like that. No, since I began my study into zombie propagation methods, I’ve pondered on possible contagion locations.
According to zombie folklore, zombies become zombies when a virus infects and kills a victim. The victim rises from the dead as a zombie and carries on the cycle of infection by biting other victims. That is, if there’s anything left of the victims after the zombie attacks. Zombies are known to have a voracious appetite for human flesh and will do anything to consume as much of it as possible.
Which begs the question I asked earlier: Where in the world would a zombie apocalypse have a greater chance of beginning?
Let’s use some logic and think about this for a moment. It would be fair to assume a typical zombie virus falls under the category of designer viruses engineered to deliver its payload to as many victims as possible. Obviously, no one in their right mind would volunteer to release such a virus into the population, therefore, should it happen, it would happen by accident.
Okay, how about location? For a virus of this magnitude to cause such devastation, the lab would have to be located near a huge population. Like a city. I did a quick search on Google for labs located near large populations and found one just outside a metropolis in a quaint suburb. Located across the street is a hotel.
Forgive me if I’m naïve, because sometimes I don’t get things right away. But if this lab should ever have a breach, isn’t it reasonable to say the hotel across the street would fall victim to the contagion first? Don’t hotels contain travelers? Travelers need airports. Aren’t airports in cities? If a whole city gets infected by these busy travelers, wouldn’t the likelihood of the contagion spreading to surrounding communities increase? And let’s not forget the infected flying out of the city. Where are they heading? Europe? Africa? China?
Now, let’s say, for the sake of argument, I’m wrong. Let’s say a zombie apocalypse starts in a rural community first. What are the chances of it stretching its legs beyond the borders of a small town? Do you think the military would allow it? I don’t know. Seems unlikely. The military’s response is quick when it comes to these types of situations. They’d have the location secured once they see zombies running around town trying to make meals of its residents. They’d then execute a containment protocol to prevent the spread from affecting outlining regions.
No, a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t survive in those conditions. The military would make sure of that. If it does happen, it’ll happen in a large urban area. As for my research, I’m not silly enough to reveal what I found online, although if you’re smart, you probably already figured out my Google search. You also know to which lab I’m referring.
What do you think? Big city or small town? Do you have any other locations where a zombie apocalypse could start?
11 thoughts on “Zombie Apocalypse: Revisited”
If I recall correctly, in the early Romero films the dead rising was passingly attributed to radiation, but the virus scenario that has become the standard folklore now was always far more plausible.
You are absolutely correct. In The Night of the Living Dead it was a satellite that caused the mess that we now call the zombie apocalypse.
Neat discussion, once again, Jack. In biowarfare or ‘designer viruses’ . . . especially the former . . . I do think there’s every possibility for purposeful release of the pathogens, I’m sorry to say. [In fact, I’ve been writing and rewriting this fiction story for a few years now, with perhaps a novel sort of vector.] Anyway, it’s the “in their right mind” part that that hinges on. For me, I think the question of where would be dependent on how (the vector). Does ‘zombification’ happen because of a (1) virus; (2) bacteria; (3) extraterrestrial means (whether bacteria or virus); (4) some novel vector; (5) airborne, waterborne, foodborne; etc. There are so many real-world variables, not to mention the fantastical defaults like ‘evil’ or ‘magic’ or even an old legend or custom (e.g., mummification) that somehow becomes alive again, by whatever means (even ‘extraterrestrial’ is not too far-fetched considering how many meteorite impacts the Earth has had in its life cycle already). Ugh, anyway, I think if it were a virus or bacteria, zombification could start from somewhere small, even rural, and spread accordingly to higher population centers, as a disease such as AIDS presumably did (a zoonotic disease). There again, it depends on the virus or bacteria’s mode of transmission, life span outside its host, etc. Such a great topic; I I could blather on, but I’ll spare you and back-space. . .!
Gosh, Leigh–I think you should post for me instead. Your reasons are way, way better than mine!
Nah! . . . I never could’ve come up with the whole Ranger Martin idea and carried it forth with the determination and quality that you have, Jack! I’m hoping to see a box set of RM soon . . . hint, hint. 🙂
You have gtot to play the game Plague Inc which also has a Zombie version of the game. In it you get to chhose where the breakout occurs, how fast, what vectors to use to spread the disease, etc. The goal is to kill off as much of the human population as possible, in as short a time as possible, without being cured, because the whole time this is happening, people are working to cure it.
I’ve only won the game one time and I found that success by starting the disease in as remote a location as possible. You have to balance how vectors of transmission vs. the speed of the disease. You can’t kill off your victims too fast or the disease won’t spread to as many peple as possible. Too slow and you’ll be cured before you reach maximum lethality. Its an eye opening game.
That game sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing it!
My favourite scapegoats from science – fiction : Nanites. They could be created anywhere, even though isolation would be best. They escape containment. They’re flawed, unable to tell living from relatively freshly necrotic tissue. These guys would be designed for healing injuries but they’d restore tissue indiscriminately, maybe even allowing for stronger, faster ” walking, running undead “.
Curious question. It would have to be an urban start if it’s a designer virus, but I don’t think it would get very far. Society has focused so much on the zombie apocalypse that we’d probably know it on sight and fight back swiftly. The initial wave of undead would be crushed by an over-reacting military and populace. I’m going to attempt another route for an answer.
There are forms of zombification in nature, right? Like the fungus that makes ‘zombie ants’ that explode. What if one of these things evolved to infect humans in a similar method? That would be a natural form and even more dangerous because it could be spread by spores instead of bite. Now for location, I would say the best way for it to get traction would be in the more rural parts of Africa. The reason is because it could spread pretty far before anybody knows what is going on or able to react. I’m talking areas where they might not jump to the zombie conclusion and you’d have a massive horde before the idea appears. Then they march toward the rest of the world spreading the disease. Not sure how they’d get to the Americas though. Maybe ships that are escaping would break out in an epidemic and spread it upon landfall.
I’ve had success with this idea in the game Plague Inc. I prefer to start the disease in as remote a location as I can find and build up the numbers of infected before reaching a lethal stage of the disease. Transportation vectors are a factor in the game as well.
I think I’ve seen pictures of that game. Good to hear the tactic has merit. 🙂