How to Survive an Outbreak

It was Halloween. According to ancient legend this is the one night of the year when Carmen San Diego and Waldo are allowed to hang out together. It’s obviously the perfect time to gather hundreds of San Franciscans and turn them loose on a race.

The rules were simple: Hit the checkpoints, don’t get caught by anyone with a red ribbon on their arm. Safe zones are one square block around the checkpoints, any bus shelter, and any underground mass transit station. Anyone tagged by a chaser (red-ribbon wearers) becomes a chaser.

The parallels to zombie infection were simply too broad to ignore. These were the worst kind, too– fast moving, fast thinking, human-smart zombies. Infection takes about 15-30 seconds.

Being a part of the game makes you realize that we’re a little bit bison. Since people basically don’t want to get tagged, if they see something suspicious, they’ll run. And that’s a signal for _everyone_ to start running. You’d see a whole herd of us running from nothing. And then maybe get tagged by the chaser everyone runs into.

Ultimately, the evening was as close to being in a horror movie as I’m likely to get until George Romero starts directing my life. And since there’s some real (though incredibly minimal) danger (of “losing”) in this game, it might even have been more fun.

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2 Responses to “How to Survive an Outbreak”

  1. Huh. The only “human-smart” zombie I’ve seen in film, is the the leader zombie from the remake of “I Am Legend”– which really wasn’t all that smart.

    But the “people are like cattle” observation was pretty clear to me on Friday night at a Halloween party. About five people couldn’t hold their booze, and well, when they hurled on the dance floor, there was a semi stampede away from “the danger.”

  2. How much fun would that be? I would absolutely love to be a part of that! Especially in a big city where you can have a hundred or more participants. We are all a little bit bison, though a larger portion than most would admit. And if movies haven’t taught me anything else, I sure as hell know that if I see wolves and deer heading together somewhere, I would follow them in a heartbeat.

    Just as a side note – Ted’s example of sheeple is only applicable if people moved away simply because they say others moving away.

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