This Is What You Should Do In A Zombie Apocalypse According To Science


If you didn’t get the memo of an article published in 2015 on zombies, these are the points you need to know:


  • Researchers have exhibited how a zombie outbreak would make its way around the US.
  • Big cities would principally be the most dangerous places to be at the beginning of the outbreak.
  • Reportedly, isolated areas in the mountains would be a safer place.
  • These sorts of models are the same models that researchers use to comprehend real diseases.

According to research presented on the 5th of March 2015 at the American Physical Society March meeting, If or when the zombie apocalypse does come, people in big cities will have a huge reason to panic.

A graduate student at Cornell University who was part of the research team, Alex Alemi, living in a huge city like Atlanta or New York automatically puts you in trouble from the start in the occurrence of a zombie outbreak there. The research suggests that individuals have a better chance of survival if they live far away from people as it gives them a better chance in their attempts to avoid the infection. The best chance of survival would be to escape to an almost empty region like the Rocky Mountains.

A group of people travel to the country in AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead”

Alemi had the following to say in an APS press release: “I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City fall in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”

Authentic disease modeling

Alemi and colleagues made use of standard disease models to estimate the rate of zombie infection around the US, assuming that humans would need to be infected by a zombie bite (of course). Also following standard protocol, zombies’ mode of traveling is only by walking and wouldn’t die naturally without being “killed,” hypothetically with a well-placed blow to the head.

Basically, they made use of a realistic model similar to the way epidemiologists calculate the spread of other viruses but using fictional parameters unique to zombies instead. They came up with some assumptions, one of which was a transportation infrastructure collapse. It’s hard to imagine airports being functional for long in such a scenario.

In a fictional scenario demonstrated in a video published by the researchers, it was shown that the Rockies are the safest place to be when the outbreak happens as they are sparsely populated and difficult to reach. It was also shown that big population centers are the worst place to launch the outbreak and after about 28 days, they become relatively safer as their surrounding areas become more dangerous.

Although of course, as Terrence McCoy pointed out at The Washington Post if a large portion of the population flooded any area, the risk of infection there is expected to skyrocket. It was said that the statistical research was motivated by a reading of Max Brooks’ “World War Z,” a book that is reportedly better than the movie that was based on it.

A scene from the movie “Word War Z”

How it works

Alemi and coauthors modeled out the population centers of the country and then assumed certain possible interactions, with an element of randomness such as A zombie might bite an individual, infecting him/her in the process or the individual might be lucky enough to escape or kill the zombie.

Also, if it were to be looked at realistically, an outbreak is unlikely to start all over the country. There are also some variables: the undead might be more or less mobile or more or less aggressive than was predicted.

People imitating zombies in a scene from the movie “Shaun of the Dead”

Thus Alemi and his research team built an interactive model that permits you to simulate an outbreak, picking a starting point, a zombie-bite to zombie-kill ratio, you also get to decide whether the zombies are fast or slow. Perhaps there should be a petition for the creation of more complex variables as that would make it more interesting.

Alemi said in the press release. “Given the time, we could attempt to add more complicated social dynamics to the simulation, such as allowing people to make a run for it, include plane flights, or have an awareness of the zombie outbreak, etc.,”

Agreeably, zombie scenarios might seem a tad bit silly for researchers to spend time and resources on, public health researchers tend to like these sorts of scenarios as they aid in educating people on the way diseases spread. You think this is silly? Wait till you know that the CDC maintains a “Zombie Preparedness” page.

Summarily, once you hear of a zombie outbreak, pack your valuables and survival kit (ditch them if they would hinder your free movement) and run as fast as you can to the mountains!

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