Policy Advise on Zombie Apocalypse
FROM : Pat Pataranutaporn, Arizona State University Researcher
SUBJECT : Advise on Zombie Apocalypse
Hypothetical Scenario base on the movie : Warm Bodies (film)
This recommendation is made for the remaining operation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eight years after the zombie apocalypse. The remaining operation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the only intellectual government agency, which focuses on doing frontier research in curing zombies and restoring society back to normal situation.
Outline of the problem
The zombie apocalypse eight years ago had converted numerous innocent citizens around the world into zombies. Base on the research, the zombies population live in hives, and are categorized into two groups based on the progress of body decay. The first type is Fleshy, the type of zombies that are relatively new, which allow them to still have human skin on them. The second type, Boney is the type of zombies that have nothing more than skeletons with degraded muscle keeping them together. Boneys are generally stronger and more intelligent than Fleshies. There is a hierarchical structure within the zombies community, Boneys are the leaders of the zombies clan and are the only kind of zombies that can convert human being into zombies by biting them.
Both types of zombies can be killed if the brains are destroyed by human. When a person become a zombie, he or she will lose the senses of humanity by having limited speech, short memories, and become illiterate. Zombies survive by hunting living organisms — include human, by spontaneously form hunting troops. Human brain is the most desirable food for zombies as it can relive the memories, feelings, and thoughts of their prey.
Threats this problem poses
Since the first sighting of the zombies eight years ago, the remaining human population have been broken down into small survival groups that operate in the military manner. Each group have developed survival strategies, hunted and collected resources, allocating works for each members of the community to do in order for the group to survive. Even though, skills in surviving zombie apocalypse are becoming more common among survivals and people that live in government declare safe zone are starting to have their normal life style, there are problems that zombie apocalypse have posed to the society :
People are becoming more violent in order to survive
Due to the fact that majority of people are disconnected from the safe infrastructure and live in the non-safe area, most survivals are in the self defending mode in order to cope with the zombies. These situation have shown to increase the level of violent in people as the survivals have always carried weapons and alerted to fight with zombies. These situation post a significant challenge that would last for generations even when all the zombies have been eliminated. In order to restore normal human society, it is important to reduce this violent level back to normal.
The distinction between zombies and human are bluring
The challenge in identifying zombies for the “fleshies” type are becoming more difficult as the new zombies have similar physical appearance to live human. The challenge in separating live and death human from one another create uncertain encounter situation when approaching unknown person on the street, resulting in complex decision making protocol for the government to deliver resources and cares.
The relationship between human and zombies
With the recent accidental discovery between a survival and a zombie, the researcher now learn that it is possible for the “fleshies” to return back to human being. Even thought the biological mechanism is still unknown, the fleshies can sense the “empathetic” and “compassionate” interactions between human-human and human-zombie, which trigger certain process in the zombie’s bodies that convert them back to normal. This knowledge is a breakthrough, however — also problematics. There were some survivals that have been killed by attempting to convert fleshies back to human by trying to have an affective relationship with zombies.
Eating Brains Gives Zombies Their Victim’s Memories
When a zombie consumes human brain, the memory of the victim can be accessed by the zombies. As zombie socialized together under the control of the Boneys, it is possible that human’s plan and strategies might leak out to the leader of the zombies.
Advice on how to deal with the problem
This memo purposes the solution to accelerate the process of restoring society back to normal by suggesting three strategies : 1) restoring communication network, 2) adopting citizen science approach, 3) developing the empowerment narratives for survivals.
Restoring communication network
The disconnection between groups of survivals prevent the cooperation amount groups, and the sharing of the best practices and knowledges which benefit the society as a whole. Therefore, the goal of CDC in this post-apocalyptic scenario is work with other government unit to rapidly research and deploy internet or communication network that allow for the exchange of ideas and information.
Adopting citizen science approach
The former U.S. president Obama passed the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act in 2016. This Act acknowledges that the scientific discovery such as the cure from cancer can be accelerated by engaging the crowd intelligence. After the restoration of communication channel, CDC should develop a platform that allow the wisdom of people in survival communities to contribute to the researchers working in the central lab on curing the zombies. Some villagers might already known a traditional medicine extracted from local plants that can successfully cure the zombies. By doing this, the knowledge and practice can be shared and experimented in the larger scale. Each survival groups might be able to DIY (do it yourself) the cure discovered by the central CDC lab and test out with the zombies that they encounter locally and report the results back to the lab. These approach utilize the strength of centralized and decentralized network in bringing closing the gap between researcher’s knowledges and citizen’s wisdoms.
Developing the empowerment narratives for survivals
The goal of the operation is to restore humanity back to normal. Therefore, the mental health of the survival is very important. There is no point in trying to find the cure, if at the end there is no human with humanity value left. Therefore, it is important to develop an empowerment narrative and guidebook that the survival can use to reflect and remember what it mean to be human before the apocalypse. Also, it is crucial to think about the narrative that parents can use to teach and explain to children that are born during this apocalyptic time.
What are the potential pitfalls of the plan
With the deployment of the internet, it is a possibility that the zombies hack into the system and get the information of all survivals, which allow them to precisely hunt and locate the remaining human population. The citizen science approach also come with the ethical consideration. If the CDC promotes the survival to go hunt for zombies and do experiments on them in order to report the finding back, is there a consent that need to be signed by the zombies since they once were human beings. Finally, the spreading of narratives on the communication platform during critical times such as wars period or post — apocalyptic event can be manipulative for violent purposes. It is possible that people start spreading fake information to create tensions and hatred among survival groups in order to win resources. Therefore, it would be wise to carefully think about these potential pitfalls before deploying the strategies.