The Attack of the Masked Zombies
I’m sure all of you have heard of the CDC web page about zombie preparedness. If not, here it is: ZOMBIE. This appeared on the CDC website some time ago (2011, way before Covid) and of course the CDC claims it has no correlation to Covid as well as it being intended as a fun, tongue in cheek, way to get people to pay attention to preparedness of any sort, including your virus infected neighbour who has turned into a zombie.
Here is a screen shot of the front page of the little comic book they went through the trouble, and expense, to put together illustrating their point. The link above will enable you to get one of these pdf booklets for your very own. For free.
Is this just a coincidence? I suppose it could be, anything is possible, but wow, is it some coincidence! Of course the CDC is dancing around trying to discount any similarity with real life, denying any intention or foreshadowing behind it, and saying “we were just trying to have fun, figuring that people would pay more attention to the very real seriousness of good preparation” (this is not a real quote from the CDC, just so you know, I made it up based on things I DID read on their website. I am just trying to avoid spreading any “misinformation.”)
Who are the Zombies in this funny story? They are the disease/virus ridden friends and neighbours that were, just by chance, unfortunate enough to contract the new killer flu-like virus. As soon as they have the disease, they become zombies, and then are, throughout the rest of the story, referred to as “they” or “them.” The zombies clearly become the enemy—the “other” that is no longer recognizable as fellow human beings. To give them a bit of credit, there is one point where a military/police guy yells out as a huge crowd of zombies attack, “we can’t just shoot them, they are our fellow citizens!” Nice guy.
It is interesting to me how the whole point of the story is to prepare for the possibility of a virus creating killer zombies, but they never really focus on preparedness. In the first few pages the protagonist of the story does gather up a few items like an old radio (a lot of good that does) and a few other things, but very soon after the beginnings of the ordeal he and his girlfriend and Max the dog are starving and need to find the authorities to save them. That they do, and then end up (after first being screened of course) in a large communal facility awaiting the planet saving elixir, the VACCINE, to be invented and administered. It only takes a week for the brilliant white-lab-coat wearing scientists at the CDC to conjure up (without the use of magic wands!) the life-saving potion and start injecting all of the healthy humans (there is very little concern for the virus infected zombies.)
But maybe it is too late! The zombies attack the facility! But just in the nick of time Todd and his faithful dog Max wake up! It was all a dream!
What an odd little story. The point behind it, as per the CDC, is a funny way to present “preparedness in the face of a pandemic” yet nearly no time at all is given to how to be prepared. And even if smart tips on being prepared were indeed given, it certainly didn’t help our heroes in the story, neither did the vaccine that miraculously appears after a week of development. The story ends with the zombies clearly winning the day and crashing into the facility supposedly making a feast of the innocent—healthy—“non-zombies” who are present.
Well, this reader didn’t learn much about preparing for virus-zombies, what I did learn was that the zombies will get you in the end no matter what. You can find the nice military man with the gun to let you into the facility with the “non-infected good people” and have a nice time eating and hanging out until the vaccine arrives, but when it does arrive it does no good in protecting you from the virus zombies. I also learned that we would all need to trust the white-coated scientists because they can wave their “science magic wand” over anything and within just a few days come up with the potion to save us all. Right. Another thing that the story revealed was that once you are a zombie you are finished. You are not even a human anymore. And no one cares about you. But I guess that has always been true about zombies, little that I know about them.
It seems to me as well that this story has taken an odd turn from its original intentions. The zombies in the story have contracted a strange disease, a disease that renders them non-human, a virus that manipulates their DNA (or whatever happens to make a perfectly healthy person into a zombie) that produces a being that is incapable of being saved, or even being considered human anymore. This person is dangerous to other humans, humans that have remained intact because they have not contracted any sort of body and mind altering substance, in this case a virus, but what about a vaccine?
I was sitting in my car the other day listening to a book on audio and watching people mill around on an adjacent busy street. I saw school kids leaving a local high school in small crowds of friends—nearly all were wearing masks. Many of the other people walking down the street on a nice spring day were wearing masks. People riding by on bicycles were wearing masks. The scene of masked people struck me as quite surreal. What an odd display of strangeness. They made me think of the zombies in the story. The zombies were people who had lost their sense of being a human, and were carrying with them, through their fears, a dangerousness that is difficult to describe. I see danger in ignorance, and would not want to be in a room with any of these people, and certainly would not want to depend on their common sense, their intellect, or their bravery, if I was ever put in a position where I had to depend on any of these things for my own well being. That seems to me to be quite an ugly form of profiling, the very thing that I often complain that they do to those of us who are not vaccinated. But I saw them, at least at that moment, as “them,” they were like the zombies in the CDC story, unpredictable, unreliable, and dangerous, metaphorically ready to eat me, destroy me, with no care about me due to my mask-less face. They were the masked zombies.
And how literal could this analogy be? More than likely anyone still wearing a mask has been vaccinated—probably multiple times. They have bought into this madness and are willing to do anything the authorities tell them to do. Isn’t that zombie-like? How altering is the vaccine? How much does the mRNA mechanism manipulate your DNA, cause your immune system to malfunction, and change your thinking patterns, or God knows what else as it alters your very humanness? Maybe that speculation is too far out, but maybe not.
I have to admit that I am very nervous around people who are still wearing masks. It tells me a lot about how they think, what is important to them, and their willingness to be flexible and feel confident about their body’s abilities to navigate through life in a safe, unselfish, manner. I don’t trust their judgement, or their ability to think objectively. Although, at the moment, they are not trying to eat me, I am not too certain if metaphorically they would throw me under the bus if their irrational fears commanded them to do so—maybe not even metaphorically, but literally.
But…like the guy said in the story, “we can’t shoot them, they are our fellow citizens”—I do still hold onto my compassion, by a thread. I still want to save them, or at least facilitate their saving. I want the world to once again return to that consensual desire to show love and compassion and care for our fellow human beings. I don’t want to kill the zombies, I want to “unzombie-ize” them. Is this even possible? Will some divine tipping power take place that will wake up (a tired phrase I know) those of our brothers and sisters who are so deeply asleep? Will the hundredth monkey spread new knowledge and new perspectives to the millions of zombies still wandering the planet?
Maybe not. Maybe we can’t save them, and maybe the CDC story will play out as they wrote it. There are some people out there saying that the people vaccinated will slowly turn into zombie like creatures, and before they die of a complete breakdown of the immune system (VAIDS) they will spread their lethal DNA by biting those of us still not injected. Then we can only hope the CDC story is followed to the end, and we wake up from that horrible nightmare.