There are two schools of thought about what zombies will be like when the inevitable zombie apocalypse descends upon us. These two whilst different are both based in scientific thought and also tap into our different fears. Both have political undertones and both have large budget big screen and small screen adaptations. So how can we prepare for the arrival of these beasts if we don’t know which to expect? Well there is no harm in having contingency built into your plan depending upon the type you face, and if there is some resident evil style mutation of the zombie then you can throw both plans out the window and start again.
Let’s refer this type to the most genius of all zombie creators. The slow moving, sluggish, single minded and instinctive zombie has been around for longer than the zombie preparedness movement has.
These are the living dead; once a human has passed away they rise again. This first became popular with the phrase "when hell is full the dead shall rise" and it has religious thought behind it. The rising of a corpse means that all living tissue is dead; they continue to rot and have one mission which is to consume your brain and living flesh. They are slow moving and work most effectively in large groups so avoid any gatherings of people and especially places of lots of bodies, cemetery and morgue. This type is most likely to have already infected the living (as per the Walking Dead) you are a carrier of the disease which does not manifest until you are dead.
The rise in popularity of this type of zombie is said to be a commentary on our inability to affect our own lives. During a global recession where many people are enslaved to large corporations and unfeeling governments we are simply zombies in our own lives. This political undertone is best brought to life in the rise of the global zombie walk gatherings which parade around cities across the globe often with messages of political significance like the 99% movement.
The re animation of dead cells is likely to only happen if the soul or conscience has left the body. Meaning that there is no reasoning or thought behind the actions of the zombie but just a primal urge. Much like many diseases they simply seek to reproduce themselves and spread with no regard as to why. The main key here is that the zombie is brain dead and therefore has poor motor skills, they cannot coordinate themselves the way you or I can and they simply lurch around in search of a new host/meal.
Encountering this type of zombie one on one is an easy thing to survive, you can outrun them and outsmart them. But often the arrival of one zombie is followed by a whole lot more of them as they hunt in packs attracted to the scent of blood or brains. Do not attempt to navigate large conurbations of people as this will increase your chances of encountering a large group. Remote survival locations are key and if you are set up correctly then your survival plan should be around longevity. Making sure you live for as long as it takes for the zombies to completely decompose is a good strategy that will stand you in good stead.
The fast paced, infected type zombie is a more modern invention in popular media and has fuelled some of the biggest movies and games of the current generation.
These infected as living people who have become infected with an illness of disease that kills the person own self but controls their body. Often faster and smarter than the original host they move quickly and they can reason when it comes to finding their next victim. These zombies are often tougher to kill and appeared possessed.
These zombies are said to be the result of a fast paced lifestyle that we all lead. Consumer capitalism at its worst acting like some sort of possessed demon in search of its next big purchase. The disease manifests like rage, the same kind of rage that you can see most days in a traffic jam or at the supermarket between angry housewives.
The recent scientific breakthrough in zombie cells showed that the zombie cell would actually outperform its living counterpart, faster, stronger and more resistant than the original. The likelihood of a large corporation accidentally leaking this into the general population is one of the most realistic and likely scenarios to occur. Consider large corporates record on public safety and you will see accidents occur frequently causing all kinds of mutations in people. Also the cause of concern in a world more reliant on nuclear energy and large scale production points to the fact if an accident did occur it would be on a big scale.
Avoid. This is your one and only strategy of survival in this scenario. Depending on the original source of infection this type of zombie may have the ability to turn you from bodily fluid so hand to hand combat is certainly out of the question. You may also find that infections occur from air borne leak so avoid large industrial areas and cities. The problem with your plan of surviving is that this apocalypse may never end, if the cells do outperform living cells you will discover that you may not live as long as those infected.