Zombie paranoia spreads like a virus


Casey Williams, Columnist


The television program The Walking Dead has aroused the nation’s obsession with all things zombie. Each and every Halloween since the show’s premiere has featured many a zombie fanatic. Some people take it even farther than that, joining groups of people similar to a militia to prepare for the “Zombie Apocalypse.”

To some this is a very possible, even inevitable, event. There are a few charismatic film-makers out there who thrive off peoples’ obsessions and fears by designing social experiment-esque situations in which unknowing citizens stumble across what they think are real life zombies.

This is extremely dangerous. If the name Orson Welles rings a bell, you might remember the ‘War of the Worlds’ incident, where many listeners who tuned into the program actually believed the hoax and felt it necessary to protect themselves and their family from the extraterrestrial invaders by any means necessary.

It is true that quite a bit of time has passed since then, however, technology has since become more sophisticated and the news spreads quickly. Each and every time news of a celebrity dies, a follow-up is always needed. Was it drugs? Was it an accident? Who’s responsible?

The point being, we never know to what lengths people will go to make others believe lies. More importantly, we never know what people will believe and what actions they will take if they do.

In the past few years, The Discovery Channel has even released a documentary about the zombie apocalypse that is edited in a way that suggests it could actually happen. Programming stations dedicated to informing the public have taken hold of this craze and ran with it. There are people who will believe this information simply because it was made to seem real.

Fear is an incredible motivator and there are sick people in the world that will use any excuse to cause chaos. The Florida bath salts case—where a Florida man attacked another man and ate part of his face—has made this issue even worse. Even though the idea is completely ludicrous, there is now a reference case that makes the delusion that much more “real.”

For the sake of the safety of the general public, please stop feeding into others’ delusions. There is no way that this paranoia can lead to anything healthy or even remotely beneficial.

If, and for the record this is completely hypothetical as well as incredibly unlikely, a biological warfare attack were to happen that warranted wide-spread panic, it would surely be airborne and infect everyone all at once.

The only preparation needed would be hazmat suits that would keep you from breathing in airborne toxins or bacterium. Likewise, there have been surprisingly few of these substances that are able to control a person’s mind and make them want to infect others by some means, let alone eat their brains. There would need to be some kind of highly sophisticated substance that would take years to perfect.

In short, don’t worry about zombies, worry about how you’re going to pay back your loans. Collectors are more likely to rip you limb from limb than an undead person.