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#51 Posted by Brodehouse (10106 posts) -

@golguin said:

@brodehouse said:

@popogeejo: But we have suffered pandemic before. We've suffered pandemic after pandemic after pandemic, all in a time when we believed the plague was a punishment from a creator being, and not with the knowledge that it's microscopic bacteria, and no ideas of how to combat it besides blame the Jews and maybe pray some more. We're all still here, thankfully.

The difficulty you're going to see in a modern virus or bacteria doing anything close to even those is to have a virus that is a) completely unknown, b) resistant to basic treatments, c) extremely contagious, d) extremely slow presenting and e) extremely lethal. Doubtful. While I have no doubts that losing 50% of the population would greatly affect our economic and productive capability, developed societies will not regress. America is not aching for warm bodies to perform basic tasks and fulfill production, it actively attempts to keep people out.

You know what I think might actually break down society? A nation of idiots raised on the belief that as soon as the dead are shuffling around, ERTS EVERY MERN FER HERMSELF and driving axes into their neighbors heads whereas before they would have worked together in a reciprocal fashion to achieve their common interest (survival) and been able to increase their production exponentially.

The problem with a modern virus is that people don't live in isolated population pockets that can simply die off and stop the spread of disease. People are too mobile and the world is too interconnected. If you have a deadly infection that can easily be transmitted and is slow to be present symptoms then we will have a huge problem.

What if you don't develop zombie/rage like symptoms until after a few weeks? You could have millions of potential zombies in a matter of days. A single person can infect an entire city and then the city infects the entire continent.

Consider SARS, a disease that we labelled a pandemic, were uniquely aware of, is noted for communicability and almost synonymous with Hong Kong airports. What did this barbarian of a virus do, how badly did it impact the global population? Well, it killed about 800 people over the span of less than a year. The business guy for Penny Arcade caught it. And it managed to kill .... 0.0000001% of the world's population? What about H1N1, which was much more effective at about 18,000.... which remains 0.003% of the world's population? 18,000 is almost as many people who live in my city district.

Epidemiologists. They work, bitches.

#52 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@golguin said:

@brodehouse said:

@popogeejo: But we have suffered pandemic before. We've suffered pandemic after pandemic after pandemic, all in a time when we believed the plague was a punishment from a creator being, and not with the knowledge that it's microscopic bacteria, and no ideas of how to combat it besides blame the Jews and maybe pray some more. We're all still here, thankfully.

The difficulty you're going to see in a modern virus or bacteria doing anything close to even those is to have a virus that is a) completely unknown, b) resistant to basic treatments, c) extremely contagious, d) extremely slow presenting and e) extremely lethal. Doubtful. While I have no doubts that losing 50% of the population would greatly affect our economic and productive capability, developed societies will not regress. America is not aching for warm bodies to perform basic tasks and fulfill production, it actively attempts to keep people out.

You know what I think might actually break down society? A nation of idiots raised on the belief that as soon as the dead are shuffling around, ERTS EVERY MERN FER HERMSELF and driving axes into their neighbors heads whereas before they would have worked together in a reciprocal fashion to achieve their common interest (survival) and been able to increase their production exponentially.

The problem with a modern virus is that people don't live in isolated population pockets that can simply die off and stop the spread of disease. People are too mobile and the world is too interconnected. If you have a deadly infection that can easily be transmitted and is slow to be present symptoms then we will have a huge problem.

What if you don't develop zombie/rage like symptoms until after a few weeks? You could have millions of potential zombies in a matter of days. A single person can infect an entire city and then the city infects the entire continent.

Consider SARS, a disease that we labelled a pandemic, were uniquely aware of, is noted for communicability and almost synonymous with Hong Kong airports. What did this barbarian of a virus do, how badly did it impact the global population? Well, it killed about 800 people over the span of less than a year. The business guy for Penny Arcade caught it. And it managed to kill .... 0.0000001% of the world's population? What about H1N1, which was much more effective at about 18,000.... which remains 0.003% of the world's population? 18,000 is almost as many people who live in my city district.

Epidemiologists. They work, bitches.

You don't know how deadly a communicable disease will be until it starts killing in any given population. Different people will react differently. Touting past mortality rates as indicative of how ready we are is naive. No one can predict future mutations. It just takes 1 to decimate a population.

#53 Posted by Max_Cherry (1151 posts) -

In "The Night of The Living Dead" people were killed initially, but we had everything under control in like a day or two. The horror was personal and not some world wide cataclysm.

#54 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (672 posts) -

Remember when Zombies were monsters that wanted to eat brains... and not just human devouring in general... yeah... THOSE were the good ol zombie days.

#56 Posted by Dalai (7057 posts) -

I'm going with the Shaun of the Dead theory. We'd freak out for a few days, maybe a week. After a while, we'll realize they're generally harmless and we'll chain them up so we can play Call of Duty with them.

#57 Edited by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@golguin said:

@brodehouse said:

@popogeejo: But we have suffered pandemic before. We've suffered pandemic after pandemic after pandemic, all in a time when we believed the plague was a punishment from a creator being, and not with the knowledge that it's microscopic bacteria, and no ideas of how to combat it besides blame the Jews and maybe pray some more. We're all still here, thankfully.

The difficulty you're going to see in a modern virus or bacteria doing anything close to even those is to have a virus that is a) completely unknown, b) resistant to basic treatments, c) extremely contagious, d) extremely slow presenting and e) extremely lethal. Doubtful. While I have no doubts that losing 50% of the population would greatly affect our economic and productive capability, developed societies will not regress. America is not aching for warm bodies to perform basic tasks and fulfill production, it actively attempts to keep people out.

You know what I think might actually break down society? A nation of idiots raised on the belief that as soon as the dead are shuffling around, ERTS EVERY MERN FER HERMSELF and driving axes into their neighbors heads whereas before they would have worked together in a reciprocal fashion to achieve their common interest (survival) and been able to increase their production exponentially.

The problem with a modern virus is that people don't live in isolated population pockets that can simply die off and stop the spread of disease. People are too mobile and the world is too interconnected. If you have a deadly infection that can easily be transmitted and is slow to be present symptoms then we will have a huge problem.

What if you don't develop zombie/rage like symptoms until after a few weeks? You could have millions of potential zombies in a matter of days. A single person can infect an entire city and then the city infects the entire continent.

Consider SARS, a disease that we labelled a pandemic, were uniquely aware of, is noted for communicability and almost synonymous with Hong Kong airports. What did this barbarian of a virus do, how badly did it impact the global population? Well, it killed about 800 people over the span of less than a year. The business guy for Penny Arcade caught it. And it managed to kill .... 0.0000001% of the world's population? What about H1N1, which was much more effective at about 18,000.... which remains 0.003% of the world's population? 18,000 is almost as many people who live in my city district.

Epidemiologists. They work, bitches.

You should also note that alot of Epidemiologists are scared as shit about the strains of anti-biotic resistant bacteria that has started appearing recently. It's never been a widespread issue, but what if it does happen? Alot of them are pushing for companies to stop making so much anti-bacterial soaps and such, since it forces the bacteria to evolve. It's an actual problem and concern.

Just food for thought.

#58 Posted by Toastburner_B (162 posts) -

It wouldn't go world wide. Madagascar would close it's borders.

In all seriousness, I think World War Z (the book) makes for a good worst-case scenario . Maybe not realistic, but good.

#59 Posted by Ben_H (3411 posts) -

It wouldn't go world wide. Madagascar would close it's borders.

Beat me to it.

#60 Posted by Flappy (2331 posts) -

It's all fun and games until the athletes become infected. LeBron James & Dwight Howard as 28 Days Later-style infected? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that.

#61 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

The only way it could possibly happen is if the infection was spread by something other than bites. It would have to be an airborne or water base infection. That way the infection would actually have a chance of spreading and become dangerous. Otherwise, biting is just stupid and even if the fuckers were fast we could easily mow them down.

I mean just think about it. Put 1,000 soldiers against 10,000 people running at them with nothing but their bare hands to fight with and I doubt if even one soldier dies. I'd even go as far as saying 100,000 people running at them wouldn't stand a chance.

#62 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4867 posts) -

All people would really have to do is wait out the zombies with enough supplies for a month, maybe two. People forget that zombies are rotting corpses. They continue to rot. They will eventually just fall apart, explode, become frozen meat, or whatever based on their climate.

Zombies aren't a threat unless one catches you by surprise. The End of the World scenario in the Romero or any other zombie movie is unattainable. Eventually they'd all fall apart and we'd be fine.

#63 Posted by wewantsthering (1586 posts) -

@nictel said:

Airborne zombie virus == FUCKED

Shouldn't it be Airborne zombie virus = FUCKED? This is where you would use "==".

If (zombieVirus == "airborne")

{

mankind = "fucked"

}

;-)

#64 Posted by supamon (1334 posts) -

If you think you can dispatch crowds of zombies by yourself with a machete or bat or whatever without tiring after one kill then you have no idea how much effort it actually requires. Slow zombies we could outrun them at least, those running ones though, kiss your ass goodbye let alone try to handle them with your weapon.

#65 Edited by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

I just imagine it would be hard to get a peaceful 8 hours of sleep.

#66 Posted by ALJ (10 posts) -

Killing just a few zombies with hand held weapons like a machete or bat would take a lot out of the average person and not only that, there are tons of other zombies around while you're focusing on one! Only way to get through a zombie apocalypse is by being smart and gathering a team. Pick your battles carefully. Knowing when to hide and when to fight is the key. Running around killing anything and everything you see is going to accomplish nothing but making you exhausted. So you killed 20 Zombies, out of what, a billion? Now if you're moving house to house, clearing the areas in between and the houses is what you have to do. Anything else is just wasted energy. Once there, you get a few people on watch every few hours to keep the fatigue level down (Goodbye 8 hours of sleep). Ration supplies as evenly as possible and scavenge. Sending out more than two people to scavenge is risky and unnecessary. If your lucky you'll find a few cans of food, couple bottles of water and maybe some clothes. If not then you're better off moving along to another neighborhood.

A zombie outbreak would be a serious threat if not contained immediately. Once it spreads from e.g. New York to London, it's game over for those who don't know how to survive off the land or those who want to be Rambo out there. Just remember, you'll get tired eventually, zombies won't.

#67 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@davidwitten22: I'm from a rural area, so walking into LA like that wouldn't really happen unless I'd travel very far. Also, you don't necessarily need to cut the head completely off, destroying the brain should do, too.

I might have watched too many Milla Jovovich movies, too. You can never watch too many Milla Jovovich movies :D

#69 Posted by RandomHero666 (3182 posts) -

I have always thought they wouldn't, assuming we are talking about dead zombies, decomposing etc.

Their eyes and ears would be useless within a few days, some of the first places to decompose and it would start within minutes of their initial death. Anyone stupid enough to get bitten by a blind and deaf zombie deserves it

#70 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

@popogeejo: But we have suffered pandemic before. We've suffered pandemic after pandemic after pandemic, all in a time when we believed the plague was a punishment from a creator being, and not with the knowledge that it's microscopic bacteria, and no ideas of how to combat it besides blame the Jews and maybe pray some more. We're all still here, thankfully.

The difficulty you're going to see in a modern virus or bacteria doing anything close to even those is to have a virus that is a) completely unknown, b) resistant to basic treatments, c) extremely contagious, d) extremely slow presenting and e) extremely lethal. Doubtful. While I have no doubts that losing 50% of the population would greatly affect our economic and productive capability, developed societies will not regress. America is not aching for warm bodies to perform basic tasks and fulfill production, it actively attempts to keep people out.

You know what I think might actually break down society? A nation of idiots raised on the belief that as soon as the dead are shuffling around, ERTS EVERY MERN FER HERMSELF and driving axes into their neighbors heads whereas before they would have worked together in a reciprocal fashion to achieve their common interest (survival) and been able to increase their production exponentially.

I think the problem with a zombie outbreak in today's society (were talking fast Day-Z types, slow ones wouldn't be a problem) is that the way we source and grow our food and run our essential services are so complex, involved and complicated that once they break down it is very hard to restart them and a great deal of people don't have the knowledge or ability to provide the basic things a society needs to survive..

All the societies you point to were largely argrarian, countryside based where the people were very in touch with the land and knew how to produce food. There was not the disconnection between food and its source there is today where the average person's potato has travelled thousands of miles before it reaches their table.

Most people now, especially in the west, live in cities and once all the transportation and systems which bring food to these places collapses they would be starving in no time at all. I don't think it is the same as in the time of the plague or in Roman times where probably everybody had at least a little plot of land and grew some basic crops. These days people think beans come in tins and grow on shelves.

I am not saying humans would disappear but I think if their was a viable zombie apocalypse it would take more than a few generations for anything like modern society to re-establish itself. I think we would abandon the cities and retreat to the countryside and then slowly build our way back up.

#71 Posted by Brodehouse (10106 posts) -

@leebmx: The agrarian lifestyle may be true of Western Europe, but it was not true of Rome. When you look into it, Rome was in many ways a _startlingly modern city_. It's no wonder since we've based the modern world kind of on their example, if you're from a developed nation and read the histories of many peoples you'll find yourself sort of naturally viewing it with a Roman state of mind, because it's very similar to ours. It was their advances in both sanitation and road construction that changed our entire concepts of cities, with the aqueduct and with food transportation you could see cities built where before it would unfeasible (you see this in Western Europe, when the Roman era ended and no one remembered how to fix the aqueducts, these cities just became ancient ghost towns). When major portions of the population die out (and we're talking 30-40-50 percent, not fractions of hundredths of a percent), yes the economic fallout will cause issues, productivity will go off a cliff, but it won't become barbarism or tribalism out here. While Western Europe devolved into the same tribes they always were, before building into modern nations, Rome and the East kind of continued business as usual. I think it will be extremely similar for us in the modern West.

Which leads me to another thing that always happens in a zombie apocalypse; electricity suddenly becomes this impossible dream. We have electric stations that practically run themselves, but in the future we'll struggle with generators and all sorts of backwoods shit. Do we think these zombies, who are basically wild animals, can't plan, can't strategize... They're gonna clog up hydroelectric dams, they'll knock out the cell towers, they'll dig up fiber optic cable. Not bloody likely. Consider what a difficult time the guy in Turkey is having actively trying to stop people from tweeting in a less developed nation, but the zombies will be more successful in America?

#72 Posted by mikethekilla (328 posts) -

Zombie's in the sense of reanimated corpses would be of little threat.

#73 Posted by Wuddel (2099 posts) -

It would probably end up like in "The Crazies". The government would just nuke the outbreak city.

#74 Posted by pyromagnestir (4337 posts) -

@nictel said:

Airborne zombie virus == FUCKED

Shouldn't it be Airborne zombie virus = FUCKED? This is where you would use "==".

If (zombieVirus == "airborne")

{

mankind = "fucked"

}

;-)

Now here's a program I can understand! We should be learning this sort of stuff in my computing class.

#75 Posted by Nictel (2430 posts) -

@wewantsthering: @pyromagnestir:

You're if statement is right ;). However I meant that an airborne zombie virus equals to fucked, saying Airborne zombie virus = FUCKED means an airborne zombie virus is fucked. Which it might as well be but is a bit different ;)

#76 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

I think it really depends what kind of zombie. If it's the George A. Romero kind, I think we'd be kinda fucked, at least for a little while, because it's not an infection, it's just people who die come back to life as zombies now. That's it. If you don't die from getting decapitated or getting shot in the head, then you come back as a zombie. Of course, the Romero zombies were slow and only threatening as a group, the problem is there would be so many of them all over the world.

If it's like 28 Days Later, where they're "infected" and it's a blood contaminate thing then I could see it happening exactly like in that movie. Wherever the outbreak starts, that place would be evacuated and quarantined. After a while, they'd die off from starvation.

#77 Posted by Jimbo (9935 posts) -

America would be ok because everybody has like 5 guns on them at any given time. The UK would fucked.

Rome vs. Zombies would be interesting. I'd call it Ryse.

#78 Edited by Juno500 (472 posts) -

@morrow said:

Even if it would be you vs. hundreds of them, as long as you don't get cornered you should be able to chop them down, one at a time.

Unless you're a world class athlete, you would probably get exhausted before too long. Try chopping wood with an axe, see if you can swing it 100 times before having to take a break.

#79 Posted by TangoUp (314 posts) -

No, the zombie nerds' ecstasy at one of their wet dreams playing out for real would be more dangerous.

#80 Posted by kerse (2118 posts) -

No. Zombies are the dead come to life, which means a lot of their muscles are probably rotting. I'd be surprised if they could even move honestly. At the very least they would be less strong than a living person and could never break into a building, they would probably just die after a week of not getting any food, probably less if you live in the real cold/hot areas of the world. But more than likely the police would just destroy them, I think people like to underestimate cops and the army when it comes to stuff like zombies.

I like most zombie games, but I think its pretty dumb to imagine them actually doing anything in real life

#81 Edited by huser (1097 posts) -
@davidwitten22 said:

I find it interesting that you think killing hundreds of people with two machetes is some sort of easy task that doesn't require a lot of physical ability and time. I don't know if you've ever actually used a sword or a machete, but even with a sharp ass sword like a kitana it would take a lot of force to take a head off. Doing that to hundreds of zombies isn't as easy in real life as pressing the R2 button is in zombie video games. Destroying a few zombies all by yourself would be possible, sure. But thinking you could walk into LA with a couple swords during a zombie apocalypse and get some food is pretty laughable.

I'd actually think that is the next level of zombie rules as the zombie apoc has been investigated to death. A setting that DOES in fact know how to kill zombies. And then instead of Rambos, you have wannabe mall ninjas that take one hard swing...lodge their weapon into the skull of their zombie victim and promptly get torn apart...at least partly by that same zombie that all their media had told them should have gone down.

I think one (among a whole host of) misstep of the Walking Dead TV show was making zombie killing casual. I get the visual shorthand of only survivors are survivin'. But frankly some of the more waifish folk dropping multiple zombies with their little flipout knives are probably doing so with injuries that aren't guaranteed to kill a living person let alone a thing that has no pulse (and thus no cerebral hemorrhaging, swelling, or ischemia as methods for massive secondary brain trauma) and isn't using most of their brain anyways. I mean Lincoln got shot in the head and took a while to pass. A construction worker survived (albeit with immediate medical care and one in a million luck) a rebar being BLASTED through his skull. It's all well and good to state go for the head, but I think one easy solution to that genre awareness is to say...you need to destroy a whole hell of a lot of head. So trying to pull a Last of the Mohicans run through dozens of zombies flicking your wrist and dropping them left and right is not going to be a thing.

Another solution would be to simply move the mega weak point. Make it a very specific part of the brain stem (ie full on decapitation or nothing) or say even weirder like the liver...in which case simply shooting or poking it isn't enough to stop the zombie.

#82 Edited by huser (1097 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

@golguin said:

@brodehouse said:

@popogeejo: But we have suffered pandemic before. We've suffered pandemic after pandemic after pandemic, all in a time when we believed the plague was a punishment from a creator being, and not with the knowledge that it's microscopic bacteria, and no ideas of how to combat it besides blame the Jews and maybe pray some more. We're all still here, thankfully.

The difficulty you're going to see in a modern virus or bacteria doing anything close to even those is to have a virus that is a) completely unknown, b) resistant to basic treatments, c) extremely contagious, d) extremely slow presenting and e) extremely lethal. Doubtful. While I have no doubts that losing 50% of the population would greatly affect our economic and productive capability, developed societies will not regress. America is not aching for warm bodies to perform basic tasks and fulfill production, it actively attempts to keep people out.

You know what I think might actually break down society? A nation of idiots raised on the belief that as soon as the dead are shuffling around, ERTS EVERY MERN FER HERMSELF and driving axes into their neighbors heads whereas before they would have worked together in a reciprocal fashion to achieve their common interest (survival) and been able to increase their production exponentially.

The problem with a modern virus is that people don't live in isolated population pockets that can simply die off and stop the spread of disease. People are too mobile and the world is too interconnected. If you have a deadly infection that can easily be transmitted and is slow to be present symptoms then we will have a huge problem.

What if you don't develop zombie/rage like symptoms until after a few weeks? You could have millions of potential zombies in a matter of days. A single person can infect an entire city and then the city infects the entire continent.

Consider SARS, a disease that we labelled a pandemic, were uniquely aware of, is noted for communicability and almost synonymous with Hong Kong airports. What did this barbarian of a virus do, how badly did it impact the global population? Well, it killed about 800 people over the span of less than a year. The business guy for Penny Arcade caught it. And it managed to kill .... 0.0000001% of the world's population? What about H1N1, which was much more effective at about 18,000.... which remains 0.003% of the world's population? 18,000 is almost as many people who live in my city district.

Epidemiologists. They work, bitches.

18,000 is the official WHO number in 2010. The CDC later used models to account for those left untreated and unreported and those numbers range from 151,700 and 575,400, numbers the WHO now at least tacitly confirm. More importantly, despite everyone freaking out about it back in 2009, worldwide infection was still huge, now estimated to be at least 12+% and some put it at almost 1/4 the population of the world...obviously with much higher mortality there will be a decrease in transmission, probably.

Not that I think a zombie apocalypse is any likelier but yeah we are all just skating by when it comes to the flu.

#83 Posted by Subjugation (4734 posts) -

If zombie fiction has taught me anything, it's that the break down of society would be a far greater threat than the actual zombies.

#84 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (946 posts) -

It would probably never get to a "end of days" scenario, but as someone said, World War Z (the book) shows a somewhat plausible worst-case scenario. People in China is infected. Infected people fall to black market organ trade, sending infected organs all over the western world. Refugees spread it further in the east. It is a relatively slow infection, meaning it manages to spread all over before the first real cases of zombies emerge. It is believed to be just crazy people, so nothing is done to keep the infection in check, panic, countries turning on each other etc.

And the whole thing about them never tiring, never giving up. Sure, you can probably manage to kill plenty of them if you are smart, but you will get tired. They won't. The usual "shock and awe" tactics we use to win wars and battles also means jack shit when you got an enemy that lacks the ability to feel anything. That is what could potentially make zombies dangerous, but only if you got crowds of them.

I am just fascinated with stories where the world ends, so everything post-apocalyptic is something I might enjoy. And Max Brooks managed to make a zombie outbreak that was more than just "yeah, shit is fucked everywhere just because... you know". He actually backed it up with real-life scenarios that might just happen. But it is still pretty damned far fetched.

#85 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

If an outbreak happens the city would go apeshit for sure. Just imagine somehow the living dead are killing humans on the street. The panic that this causes would be immense. Also 99% of the people are hopefully don't know how to kill or even thought of it. Zombies do not have that thought anymore.

As for military service. I was there for 9 months and I would be killed pretty pretty quickly and so would have been the rest of the people I were with. Hell you even could attack GErmany now with a decent or samll army and we had no chance since 80 of the mobile armory is defect here anyway XD

#86 Posted by RedCream (706 posts) -

Depends I guess, if the zombies are fast and rabid with enhanced physical strength and the virus/infection is airborne then containing the threat would be an arduous task.

#87 Posted by dudeglove (8152 posts) -

Given how much we know about them by now, I'm guessing the zombie apocalypse would last approximately five minutes as the entire populous would stomp the first infected idiot to death before he'd even

turned completely.

#88 Posted by SharkEthic (1062 posts) -

Statistics that I just made up show that in zombie fiction 80% of fatalities during the zombie apocalypse are caused by humans rather than zombies.

Numerous reports that don't exists indicates that this is, in fact, the case. Man is the one we should be worried about, not dumb ass piles of slow moving rotting meat.

#89 Posted by MattGrant (122 posts) -

The more advanced countries with highly trained and well funded armed forces would persevere. Even if I don't agree with which battles they fight, it doesn't change the fact that they are god damn professional at what they do. Part of me loving The Walking Dead is not questioning how everything went so rotten, but I still do have that inherent hold up of disbelief that every military base and every soldier would falter and succumb. If anything they would be over zealous.

#90 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2964 posts) -

The problem with the zombie Apocalypse is that the "type of zombie" you have changes the scenario a lot. The walking/running vector of the disease and their life cycle matters.


Online
#91 Posted by Stonyman65 (2822 posts) -

I think the answer to this question depends on how fast it happens and on how large of a scale.

If it is something like, say, Resident Evil, I think we are okay.

Now if it is like the classic Dawn of the Dead scenario where the whole world is gone 2 or 3 days.... We're fucked.

Think of how long it took the US government to do something about Hurricane Katrina, or Hurricane Sandy just recently. Now imagine a mass epidemic throughout the entire country that is spreading throughout the world at an alarming rate....

If it took them 5 days to get water to the Superdome, what the fuck do you think they'd be able to do during a zombie epidemic?!

#92 Posted by RetroMetal (203 posts) -

I know everyone likes to imagine how much of a badass they are, but how many zombies do you think you could kill with a machete or sword before you exhaust yourself? Just asking.

#93 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

@brodehouse: I know the Romans imported grain etc from their empire but it is nothing compared that to today where, if you take my country, Great Britain our food is flown and boated in from all round the world. We import 40% of our food going by my quick check on the Internet. We would be severely fucked if all these systems started to fall apart.

Also about electricity, most of this in the western world is provided by power stations through Coal, Gas and Nuclear. Give it a week of no-one there to manage them and the whole grid would go down I expect. They don't run themselves, most of them need constant material, whether coal or whatever shoved into them to keep going.

I don't really get what the Romans have to do with this to be honest but I think the reason our society is so at risk is because of the complexity of the systems and infrastructure which governs our lives. Most people in the west are utterly disconnected from the basic essentials of keeping life running which puts us in far more danger once a critical mass of the population are dead or incapacitated.

I just went to watch World War Z (it was ok, started good but fell on its arse, and had some completely unexplained and non-sensical parts - you are expected to believe that the Israelis knocked up a 100ft wall around their whole country in about 2 weeks with no-one noticing or asking why.) But if you take the premise of a infection which is transmitted by bite and infects in 10-15secs to produce fast moving, very aggresive zombies I think you can expect civilisation to collapse as we know it, and the remaining people to retreat to the countryside to grow and scavange food, until they can regroup and maybe fight back.

This is the only kind of apocalypse I can see really destroying society, it needs fast, strong zombies and instant contagion. The most crucial point is that their needs to be a critical mass of deaths or zombifications reached for this to happen. The film at one point posits 3.5billion dead worldwide and when you consider that most of these people would be aggressive zombies I don't think societal collapse is hard to believe. - if only for about and hour and a half until Brad Pitt finds a cure.

It would be interesting to see what kind of scenarios have been sketched out by our governments. Obviously they won't have done zombies but there must have been some planning for a Spanish Flu type outbreak, or after a nuclear attack. I would be interested in how long certain services would be expected to last were there some disaster which on this level.

#94 Posted by Scroll (601 posts) -

@morrow: I imagine beating one person to death would be kind of exhausting so doing that 100 times would not be feasible in a short amount of time.

#95 Edited by Brodehouse (10106 posts) -

@leebmx: I bring up the Romans and past civilizations in these arguments, because a lot of people who maybe don't know their history thinks civilization is this close to being overthrown, and all it's gonna take is a few deaths and some wild animals and the city streets will be bare. My Roman comparison is worth noting; they had as many, if not more, dangerous wild animals running around. The best force they could amount to clear them out are shortswords and spears. Their knowledge of human biology and of physics is extremely limited by the modern comparison, and life was poor, nasty, brutish and short. And when their empire fell, when rampaging Goths were wrecking their shit and their grasp receded from the majority of the known world to just their city walls... They did not fall to the depths and depravity that the people of the Walking Dead did. In a time with all the privileges and benefits of rationalism and modern science, somehow the appearance of a disease and a pack of wild animals is going to reduce all of civilization backwards three thousand years. Even though civilizations from the past experienced the same trials and kept going (even if they were inconvenienced or slowed), somehow our incredibly advanced society is going to crumble because oh my god it's a zombie. I have never bought it.

Look at how you expect us to lose electricity. The zombies will just wander over there (they're wild animals, remember they have no idea of this building's significance), the workers there will no way of defending themselves and no way of coming up with a defense solution to stop the zombies from approaching. No one will ever be able to get out to the electric station and make repairs or adjustments because these wild animals are just too overwhelming for our technology to keep away, never mind that Romans could keep mines and farms safe from encroaching wildlife. We on the other hand are too fucking stupid to guard or defend a power plant. It's amazing we can war with each other at all when unintelligent, non-communicating, clumsy ass zombies can destroy every military, paramilitary, law enforcement agency on the planet, even with all their incredible ranged weapons, electronic communication, advanced tactics, body armor... All for naught, on account of wildlife. It's amazing that packs of wild dogs don't control most of our major cities.

You appear to decidedly believe that the amount of infrastructure we have is directly proportional to how close we are to going off the rails, when it's actually the exact opposite. Infrastructure is what prevents societies from crumbling when a single thing goes wrong. This latest hypothetical trial will inconvenience and cause downturns for cities of ten thousand roads... It will eradicate a city of a single road. Tribal communities in Africa are in fact not going to do better than cities, they'll probably get it even worse because they don't have the infrastructure. It is likely the government becomes more authoritan or totalitarian. It is less likely legitimate government disappears and we devolve into regional duchies, despite being able to talk to the other side of the world with the push of a button. And if you think not having a cell tower is gonna do, how did we survive and make these huge bureaucracies for thousands of years before?

Edit: I'm just so amazed at how many people take the fantasy scenario of the Walking Dead and think it's the most likely result, and I wonder why the meme proliferates, because it has so many pieces where it's completely implausible. I'm beginning to wonder if it's not just a way for people living with the privileges of modernity to exercise their latent Neo-Luddite tendencies. It gives them an avenue to believe 'life would be simpler' and 'all this technology and knowledge doesn't mean anything'. I find that line of thinking to be so catastrophic as to be immoral. But I'm a rationalist so of course I would say that.

Double edit: I apologize if I'm overly hostile, I'm upset about an unrelated matter and it may be coloring my discourse.

#96 Edited by huser (1097 posts) -

@liquidus said:

I think it really depends what kind of zombie. If it's the George A. Romero kind, I think we'd be kinda fucked, at least for a little while, because it's not an infection, it's just people who die come back to life as zombies now. That's it. If you don't die from getting decapitated or getting shot in the head, then you come back as a zombie. Of course, the Romero zombies were slow and only threatening as a group, the problem is there would be so many of them all over the world.

If it's like 28 Days Later, where they're "infected" and it's a blood contaminate thing then I could see it happening exactly like in that movie. Wherever the outbreak starts, that place would be evacuated and quarantined. After a while, they'd die off from starvation.

I think you are right we'd adapt with Romero zombies, but the effect on society will be HUGE. Simply sleeping with another person in the room is a major concession for the both of you, especially if older or sick. Accidents or emergency services? People are going to be a lot less willing to go into danger or dark places for edge case survivors. Forget those human interest pieces of really long odds rescue victims. EMT's and hospital workers are all going to be packing and forget triage. Or rather, one axis will now be large orderlies coming by to put a couple bullets into the head of anyone that needs it. I assume the nearly need it will be covered by every patient walking through the door being immediately strapped and cuffed. Also forget open caskets at funerals.

#97 Posted by huser (1097 posts) -

The more advanced countries with highly trained and well funded armed forces would persevere. Even if I don't agree with which battles they fight, it doesn't change the fact that they are god damn professional at what they do. Part of me loving The Walking Dead is not questioning how everything went so rotten, but I still do have that inherent hold up of disbelief that every military base and every soldier would falter and succumb. If anything they would be over zealous.

Well, remember we only have a narrow view of the Walking Dead universe. It's probable some military units do exist in a reduced form somewhere. The degree that is plausible is up to the audience. That said, their virus is a lot more insidious with everyone being a carrier. I'm guessing it was a bacteriophage capable of infecting bacteria found in the human digestive tract. Some reports that certain strains of bacteria can induce obesity simply by being introduced into the gut of an animal might explain a zombie's mindless need to feed an otherwise dead body. The virus then was either engineered to infect humans or instead engineered to use its host bacteria to synthesize a neurolytic toxin of some sort. I'm going with toxin given the time it takes for a zombie to turn and that dead/decaying tissue is no place for a virus...but it's a great place for bacteria. The death of the host human allowing for the normally dormant gut bacteria to go nuts past all those dead immune cells.

#98 Posted by CornBREDX (5830 posts) -

Technically speaking, Zombies strength is in numbers. I think this is best seen in The Walking Dead.

The reason they'd be a threat is there is several billion people in the world, and very few would be uninfected.

#99 Posted by Budwyzer (620 posts) -

No, and thank you for bringing it up. I hate how everyone believes a zombie menace to be enough to turn civilization back beyond even Roman times.

Here are things Rome had

  • Production of goods and services
  • Running water and sanitation
  • Mining, forestry, farming
  • Free bread for Roman citizens
  • A working legal system
  • Construction projects that wouldn't be eclipsed for 1200 years
  • An organized and regimented military that wouldn't be eclipsed for 1500 years

They managed to build an empire that stretched over continents. Here are things we have that the Romans didn't have

  • Modern medicine, including vaccines, germ theory, antiseptics, and nutrition
  • Wind, solar and hydro electricity and nuclear fission
  • The microprocessor, including things as advanced as low level artificial intelligence and the ability to store every extant copy of every book or piece of text ever written in human history.
  • The modern firearm, capable of striking targets at ranges past one mile
  • Plastics, concrete, carbon nanotube materials for construction and production of goods
  • The rise of rationalism as opposed to superstition

Yet according to zombie fiction all it will take is some slavering mongooses pounding on the front door and all of society will devolve to tribalism. Well I disagree.

And not to plug my own shit, but I made a blog a few days back about how the Last of Us reveals a society that is more like the one you might see post-apocalypse.

Romans had slaves. Your (argument?) is moot.

#100 Posted by Hunkulese (2838 posts) -