Talk of infection rates, lockdowns and overwhelming pressure on health surface has left the planet in an eerie state. Thanks to coronavirus, the majority of towns in the UK right now could provide the perfect settings for a zombie outbreak, and now a researcher has revealed what an outbreak of the walking dead might look like.

Bucknell University anthropologist Clare Sammells, who teaches a course about zombies, posted a thread on Twitter, revealing what an apocalypse of the zombie kind might look like.

Thankfully, Ms Sammells starts by saying that a zombie outbreak would be much easier to contain than the COVID-19 pandemic.

She explains: “In reality a disease like zombism would generally be very easy to contain.

“With a zombie epidemic, you would immediately know who was infected. There would be no moral ambiguity about how to handle the situation (except for feel-good zombie movies like Warm Bodies). You can’t help them; they are already dead.

“People who are infected by zombies have immediate symptoms, often turning in a matter of minutes or hours. There is no asymptomatic incubation period.”

This would differ greatly to the COVID-19 incubation period, where symptoms do not tend to show for an average of 5.1 days.

Ms Sammells goes on to detail how in zombie movies, once health and police services fall and governments collapse, people tend to turn into the worst versions of themselves.

However, she states that in reality, this would probably not be the case and that the current coronavirus crisis shows how supportive humans actually are to one another.

She added: “Societies without centralized governments, etc (what in anthropology we sometimes call ‘acephalous’ societies) actually have less conflict than we do.

“Not no conflict; people still fight (sometimes violently). But there are mechanisms for how to resolve these problems (including murder, etc) in ways that actively attempt to curtail violence.

“One mechanism for conflict resolution is physically moving away from people. It is a mystery to me why in the Walking Dead, for example, people don’t just move away from each other, given that the world is almost totally depopulated and they could go anywhere!

“And what we are actually seeing in the COVID-19 pandemic is not a collapse of society, but its strengthening from the group up. People are creating neighbourhood networks. They are reaching out to friends to offer help. They are showing care and concern for each other.

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“And our heroes of the moment are those who have been caring for all of us all along: nurses, doctors, teachers, (home) cooks, grocery store workers, farmers…

“That desire to reach out and help people during a crisis is often missing in zombie films, which tend to assume that we will all descend into Aggressively Individualistic Survival Mode unless forced to do otherwise.

“But that’s not really how people are, most of the time.”

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