Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lessons from a Zombie Movie: 28 Days Later

As part of your awareness training, I wanted to bring you tips that we have learned from other people's encounters with the undead. As the only evidence of other encounters exists within film and literature, these are the resources I shall pull from. Today I present you with tips and hints from the film 28 Days Later.

First mistake of the movie: Lab animals infected with God-knows-what should not be set free. I don't care how much of an animal rights activist you are, you are not prepared to handle biologically unstable chimps.  Leave the monkey transport to the professionals.

Next comes the issue of food. Now, in this scenario they are consuming large amounts of sugar for their energy. This leads to headaches and sugar crashes. Instead, you should eat the most natural and simple foods you can. Fruit, veggies, and meat are best when you can find them, whole grains when you can't. Sure, the processed food lasts longer, but your blood sugar will be on a roller coaster ride. Strive to maintain stable blood sugar for the most energy and fewest crashes.

This movie also teaches us a great deal about the value and risk of other people. First, having those with you that you can trust can be a great help, they can keep watch at night and keep you from going mad. However, you should be wary of strangers, and keep your physical distance until you are sure that they are not infected/zombies. This is not the time to offer free hugs.

On the topic of people, be wary of military regimens. Military personnel can provide a great deal of support and security. However, these men and women are no longer a part of a larger national organizational system. Individuals with military background can be just as dangerous as they are beneficial. Choose your interactions with military carefully.

Zombies are not pets. They do not make good research subjects. They should not be kept chained in your backyard. (I feel like this should be a given, but apparently some idiot always thinks it's a good idea to keep a zombie as a pet. Just get a chinchilla.)

This one you might not have much choice about, but coma patients seem to always last through the initial onset of infected/zombie hordes. Not only in this movie, but in other pieces of work as well, your main character was in a coma or coma-like state during the onset of the apocalypse. If you know it's coming, try to find your way into a deep sleep in a hospital, but you probably won't be that lucky.

Another place of interest. People seem to always go to the church building, and they always get attacked. Churches might seem like the place to go after the infected start eating people, you know you should probably repent for that little stunt in college, but it doesn't work out. Here's why: everyone else freaked out and went to the church, too! Therefore, the church is a large building full of people and odds are one will start eating the rest. Say your prayers elsewhere.

Ok, now here's a basic health lesson. If the virus is transmitted through contact with blood/saliva in your blood or mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), then cover your freaking mouth and eyes! Seriously people, didn't you learn this stuff in school? Wear a face mask and goggles and you won't be getting any stray blood in places it won't come out.

Search and rescue missions, this is where it gets tricky. Obviously you want to save your loved ones. However, you need to think about survival. Only attempt to save those closest to you, or those who will of the greatest benefit. Also, limit your search and rescue missions to the first week, maybe week and half of the onset of the epidemic. Otherwise, you are likely wasting your time and taking too great a risk.

How to deal with the infected. Zombies are not people. They were people, but no longer. If a travel companion is infected, or you suspect that they are infected, they are no longer your friend. They are now the predator looking for prey and you should take immediate action.

Gear is very important. If you are holding up in a specific location, find ways to block your entrance or create an alarm (soda cans or shopping carts). Also, if possible swipe some riot gear. The cops don't need it any more. If traveling, always have a spare tire. Raid the supermarkets and pharmacies whenever possible for additional supplies and carry as much as you can. When picking out your weapon, malay weapons and knives/swords are best. Guns may be great for longer range attacks but require ammo. If you run out of ammo your gun becomes a club, and less handy than a baseball bat. Have enough equipment/supplies for approximately two months.

Where to go: Do not go into a building unless you have to or are looking for supplies. If there is a stampede of rats, follow the rats. If it's bad enough to scare away those vermin, you should probably not wait around to see it. Now, many people want to follow the radio broadcast that repeats over and over that there's no infected at such and such place. This is tricky. If the broadcast repeats you don't even know if it's still true. Even if there are no infected, you don't know who or what will be waiting for you. Weigh your options carefully, this may not be your best bet.

Beware the fast and stealthy zombies, and be wary of birds. They seem to always be bad news.

And don't kiss a guy covered in zombie blood. Never mind the safety issues, that just plain gross.

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