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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

It's hard to figure out what's going on, which is probably accurate, in that the situation has gone so bad so fast that anyone who figured it out probably had no way to spread the information.

1. Zombies will eat you if they catch you, but if they just bite you (i.e., if you get away after the first bite) you die and then become a zombie. So what percentage of the population was turned into zombies? It matters. Are there five billion zombies walking around Earth? Or just a few hundred thousand?

2. How fast did that happen? [Episode 6 said that the virus started six months earlier and went global two months ago, which doesn't work with the hero in a coma. He'd have been too weak to walk if he'd been in a coma that long.]

3. How did the first zombies get infected (and how many were there)? There must be some way to "catch" zombie-fever without being bitten. Does that still work, and if so, how do we avoid that? (And why is nobody worried about it?) Can someone who died by other means (than a zombie bite) get infected and reanimated later?

4. Why do some zombies wander around by themselves, while others cluster in large groups?

5. Just how long is the period between being bitten, death, and resurrection as a zombie? [Episode 5 seems to say about 12 hours between bite-death and zombie resurrection, but the scientist said a few minutes to six hours.]

6. Some zombies seem smarter than others (one used a rock to break a door, at least one could turn door knobs, at least a few could climb fences, but none seem able to climb ladders). Do zombies get dumber as their brains rot, or smarter as the virus builds up steam? Do Zombies get slower as their bodies rot, or faster as the virus takes hold? Do zombies rot at all? A dead body won't rot for two or three days, and if it turns into a zombie and starts eating living flesh, won't it survive in a non-rotting state more or less forever?

7. Just how small a bullet will kill a zombie? Obviously, a 9mm will do (the hero used the Army 9mm pistol to do that), but will a .22LR do the trick? It would be easy to carry a thousand rounds of .22LR on your person, but bigger bullets would be harder to carry in that quantity. (A .22LR won't penetrate a human skull at any significant range, but then, a pistol won't hit a head beyond 50 feet anyway. Even so, I'd rather kill a zombie at 50 feet than at 5 feet.) Will any bullet in the brain take out a zombie, or do you actually have to damage the brain stem where the virus resides?

8. Zombies can smell you, but a severed zombie head is still alive, so ... they can smell but don't have to breathe? But then, the re-animated sister started breathing, so ...? (Seems to be a case of the writers doing stuff that sounded cool without thinking it through.) Does nerve gas have any effect on zombies?

9. Some zombies keep staggering around, but others go into hibernation. Are the sleeping zombies just tired or exhausted or out of food? Or are they the ones not fully zombificated yet?

10. The biggest question of all: Where did the zombie virus come from? Was it a secret military weapon that got out of control? Or was it corporate greed in trying to genetically engineer something more benign? Given how Hollywood thinks, it was surely one or the other. But there is this question: If the CDC doctor did not know what it was, how did he expect to find it in a blood test?