Saturday, 21 May 2011

Zombie Apocalypse

I found this on Pharyngula. The CDC have released guidelines on what to do if there is a Zombie Apocalypse. It provides a good overview on things you need for basically any other disaster except a Zombie Apocalypse.

For one thing nowhere do they mention that you need some sort of weapon, whether it is a shotgun, or baseball bat, or bowling ball or banjo. Neither do they suggest some relevant songs to play on your battery powered radio (like "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen).

And lastly they've decided to ignore all scientific evidence on the matter by saying the following:
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
See if they had read the literature they would know that trying to find a cure is pointless. As Munz, et al. showed in their paper "When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection" showed basically the only way to deal with such an event is to kill them as quickly and efficiently as possible instead of bothering to find a way to cure them. I wouldn't say that we shouldn't work on finding a cure since that would be very useful, but at some point you're going to have to accept that killing them is the best option.

So in conclusion, the CDC provides valuable advice for pretty much any disaster except for a zombie apocalypse where mathematical modelling shows that what they want to do will pretty much doom everyone.

No comments: