Zombies Apocalypse–We May be Prepared But are We Resilient?

A sense of humor goes a long way in this business and the CDC shows they have it with their new blog post on zombie preparedness recommendations. (http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp).

In this post self-sufficiency remains an important component of the resilience framework, but how does the rest of the resilience framework hold up in a zombie apocalypse?

In the zombie apocalypse widespread zombification threatens the very existence of civilization.  A pandemic virus sometimes brings on Z-Day, the day when the transmogrification begins. This sets into play the apocaplyse trope.

The zombies are an unprecedented threat that demonstrates the very lack of resilience in our society. Community, hah!  Community engagement is now a military action. Community disintegrates, that’s the very point.  No one can be trusted.  All our efforts at building capacity of social and volunteer organizations arefor naught. The only collective action that is possible now is hunkering down behind the perimeter and killing zombie onslaughts.  Participatory decision making is challenging with zombies.  Indeed the core components of community resilience are now leveraged against us.  Communication becomes dangerous (it may signal to the zombies where you are safely hiding). Our social networks are also dangerous and social networking is impossible (power is down).  Forget government coming to our aid since long ago the army was beaten. Of course, the vulnerable populations were the first to be eaten–hence all the senior and hospital-gown-clad zombies.

At least individual resilience factors still matter–coping, self-efficacy, optimism.  Funnily, religious faith may be dangerous to your health in the zombie movies—the doomsayer is the first to get it.

Let’s hope that the next National Health Security Strategy deals with the zombie apocalypse more forcefully


About David Eisenman

I'm a physician and public health/health services researcher. I want to bring these perspectives to understanding disaster resilience.
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