We’re All Going to Die: Zombie Apocalypse

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Today zombie will walk the streets of your city. They will walk into your place of business. You may see them at school. You may see them at your children’s school. You may see them at a party. They will meander past your residence. They may stop at your house looking for a treat. You may know a zombie this Halloween. Most likely these zombies are of the costumed variety. Perhaps big fans of “The Walking Dead“. Or “Fear the Walking Dead“. Maybe they just got around to seeing the movie “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies“. Or decided to read “World War Z” after seeing the movie adaptation. But are you sure? Can you be absolutely positive that it is a costumed zombie standing right next to you and not an actual zombie? Are you prepared if that is a real zombie?

The Department of Defense is prepared. The United States military is constantly is preparation and contingency mode. The national security of the United States depends on our military being prepared for any event which threatens U.S. citizens and the homeland. Including a zombie apocalypse. “CONOP 8888” is an unclassified zombie survival plan, a how-to guide for military planners trying to isolate the threat from a menu of the undead and destroy them. Gordon Lubold of Foreign Policy discovered this document buried on the military’s secret computer network (and yes, it is real).

The stated purpose of CONOP 8888 is as follows:

“This plan fulfills…contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command [USSTRATCOM] to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population — including traditional adversaries.”

And as detailed by Lubold,

“CONOP 8888 is designed to ‘”establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies,”‘ according to the plan’s purpose, and, ‘”if necessary, conduct operations that will, if directed, eradicate zombie threats to human safety.”‘ Finally, the plan provides guidance to ‘”aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order and restoring basic services during and after a zombie attack.”‘

“The ‘”worst case threat scenario,”‘ according to the plan, suggests a rather dark situation: a zombie attack in which there would be high “transmissibility,” lots of zombies eating lots of people, zombies infecting humans at a rapid rate, and little or no immunity and few effective countermeasures.

“Under “Zombie Threat Summary,” the plan highlights the different kinds of zombie adversaries one might find in such an attack. They include not only vegetarian zombies (“zombie life forms originating from any cause but pose no direct threat to humans because they only eat plant life”); evil magic zombies (“EMZs are zombie life forms created via some form of occult experimentation in what might otherwise be referred to as ‘evil magic'”); and also chicken zombies.

‘”Although it sounds ridiculous, this is actually the only proven class of zombie that actually exists,”‘ the plan states. So-called “CZs” occur when old hens that can no longer lay eggs are euthanized by farmers with carbon monoxide, buried, and then claw their way back to the surface. ‘”CZs are simply terrifying to behold and are likely only to make people become vegetarians in protest to animal cruelty,”‘ CONOP 8888 notes.

“The catalog of the walking dead also includes zombies that come from outer space; those deliberately created by Frankensteinian bio-engineers; and humans that have been invaded by a pathogen that turns them into zombies.

“The plan reviews, extensively, the various phases of saving the world from zombie rule and reads not unlike the phases of a counterinsurgency campaign: from “shape” to “deter” to “seize initiative” to “dominate” to “stabilize” and, finally, in the final, confidence-building phase, “restore civil authority.” That final phase includes the directive to “prepare to redeploy the forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts.”‘

“Finally, ‘”[a]s directed by POTUS and SECDEF,”‘ using military-ese for the president of the United States and the defense secretary, ‘”provide support to federal, state and tribal agencies’ efforts to restore basic services in zombie-related disaster areas.”‘

This very real plan to combat the zombie apocalypse is highly detailed and specific, as befits a plan crafted by the U.S. military, and necessarily so. It may seem overboard to some to detail eight specific types of zombies, the legal status of each of the types and the specific threat posed by each type, but this type of planning is essential to the successful implementation of the plan. Different types of zombies represent different threats to national security and to the human populace.

This is confirmed in research by Alex Alemi, Matthew Bierbaum, Christopher Myers, and James Sethna of Cornell University. These scholars created a zombie simulator based on a real-life disease model known as SIR (which stands for “susceptible, infected, and resistant”). The researchers developed simulations based on variables like how fast zombies move, how often humans kill them, and how often bites occur. As Alemi explains,

‘”If there is a zombie outbreak, it is usually assumed to affect all areas at the same time, and some months after the outbreak you’re left with small pockets of survivors. But in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn’t seem like this is how it would actually go down.”‘

“Cities would fall quickly, but it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas, and months to reach the northern mountain-time zone.

‘”Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down–there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate,”‘ he elaborates. ‘”I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”‘

Things like zombie speed, bite-to-kill ratio, bite-to-infection ratio, human population density, zombie population density, geography/terrain, weather, and how difficult it is to kill the zombies all affect the spread of the zombie infection. If it even is an infection. How one may become a zombie matters as well. Therefore, it’s not only necessary for the U.S. military to have a plan in place in case of a zombie apocalypse, it must be extensively detailed because the details matter. Just hope the military did its job well and considered all potential aspects of the zombie apocalypse and planned accordingly. One mistake could lead to the end of all non-humans.

Unfortunately, according to at least one analyst the plan is a bit flawed and incomplete. It would seem that the United States is not completely prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

Have a nice day.


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