All love the zombie. These chilling entities are popular both with children, and at adults – they look rather harmlessly not to be afraid of them seriously, but also it is rather terrible to be scared with all the heart. Zombies “actually” are how terrible?
The phenomenon of the zombie represents quite exceptional case of appearance of the archetypic character within the modern culture. Unlike vampires or the Baba-yaga (though the image of the Baba-yaga as experts speak, is intimately bound to the world of the dead. According to the specialist in folklore Varvara Dobrovolskaya, “she (Baba-yaga) can be represented as a corpse, it is in an izba which in itself reminds a coffin, it “lies up and down”, “the nose grew into a ceiling”. In some fairy tales at it pieces of rotten flesh” – NS can stick out of a body). It is possible to remember unless the promise of the dark goddess Ishtar from “The epos about Gilgameshe”: “I will lay a way to underworld depth, I Will lift the dead that live were devoured”. However frequent characters of fairy tales and legends these recovered dead persons did not become.
In a present look “the corpses recovered extremely which completely lost control over themselves and the body or obeying someone’s orders” came to us from beliefs of the people of Haiti which developed already in Modern times at the people of the Caribbean Region – to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica – with their magic practice of the voodoo. As well as voodoos in general, the zombie became a product of the complex mixture of the African, Indian and Christian beliefs, and having got to millstones of the modern mass culture, continued evolution.
It is considered that in English-speaking literature of the zombie for the first time were published in the late twenties in books of the reporter and author of Gothic novels William Seabrook who spent a lot of time to Haiti and personally was present at ceremonies and ceremonies of the voodoo. However if Haitian zombies are quite often living people whose behavior is controlled by the sorcerer, in culture they began to be associated only with the recovered dead persons. Most likely, the merit in it belongs to the famous Italian-American director George Romero, the author of such cult movies about the zombie as “Dawn of dead persons” and “Night of living dead persons”.
However blunt, sluggish and slow zombies of Romero not for long remained those. The director’s followers not always adhere to an initial picture, and in many modern movies the recovered dead persons differ in an exclusive ingenuity and cunning, and sometimes and the fantastic speed and force. And the place of the magic capable to lift the dead person from a grave and to allocate it with will to move and kill, the science borrowed.
Most of the modern writers agrees that it of the person turns into the zombie something infectious, the certain virus which is transmitted according to one data, only at a sting of “patient” or with a piece of its flesh, and on others – and directly by air. Whether such virus, “virus of a zombizm of the person” (VZP) actually is possible?
The recovered dead persons appear and in the Scandinavian folklore – the berserka which died “irregularly”, not in battle turn into them. The body of such character, a draugr, increases in sizes, skin becomes cadaveric-blue, and appetite is so unrestrained that quite often forces them to be engaged in a cannibalism. Draugra usually protect barrows, but are capable and to be chosen closer to people, sometimes even attacking them in the dwelling. Other northern analog of the zombie – the nakhtserer, dead persons devouring characteristic body. On people they do not rush.
Rabies of the zombie
Arguing on this subject (we will emphasize: it is purely speculative as any normal person seriously does not believe in reality of existence of VZCh), experts pay an attention to such well-known and dangerous disease as a rabies. Parallels between VZCh and a virus of a rabies it is found amazingly much.
Professor of the Maryland university Jonathan Dinman argues: “I think, VZCh already practically exists – and it exactly a rabies. First, this infection has almost 100 percent lethality, that is after infection you in a literal sense become the walking dead person. Secondly, she “will reprogram” your behavior, forcing to attack other people and to bite them, extending a disease”.
Even symptoms of a rabies are similar to VZCh. Patients feel the strongest, intolerable alarm, hallucinate, hardly operate characteristic body, are overexcited. From a mouth at poor creatures saliva flows, even the hydrophobia – just as at the “real” zombies from a popular anime series “School of dead persons” develops.
“Remember the movie “I Am a Legend”, – the epidemiologist Samantha Price adds, – zombies in it do not take out either bright light, or water just as rabid”. As well as the virus of a rabies, VZCh is transmitted with liquids of the body infected including at stings which are generously distributed by “patient” thanks to the increased aggression.
However, in order that the flash of VZCh developed into full-fledged epidemic, it has to be not so dangerous as a rabies. The actual infection is too fatal, it kills the carriers quicker, than manages to extend on population. Before a rabies turns into VZCh, the virus should mutate.
The real VZCh has to kill not so much infected how many “to intercept monitoring” over his brain and behavior, forcing to hunt for people and in every way to extend a virus further. In other words, Ebola, and chronic, as at the herpes capable to coexist with you all life has to become the main form of an infection not sharp, as at the real rabies or notorious fever.
Therefore metabolism of a body has to leave a virus in safety, allowing an organism to exist in general normally to make all new virus particles. And for the most efficient distribution by the useful there will be a control over emotions and behavior of the patient. Inability quietly and rationally to think – the best environment for spread of any “infection”, whether it be an actual disease or the virtual fights on the Internet.
Conspirology and virus centaur
In the summer of 2012 at the Miami airport two homeless, one of whom literally bit all over the opponent to death, fought. To stop it, the police had to shoot excessively aggressive citizen – and this case led to quite “virus” distribution of stories about the mysterious LPQ-79 virus.
According to conspiracy theorists, LPQ-79 became a product of secret developments of a virus capable to intercept control over behavior of the person – more precisely, of “a lysergic hinonovy protein” (Lysergic Quinine Protein). Allegedly casual leakage of exemplars of LPQ-79 transported through the airport led to infection of the homeless.
Officials a set of times disproved this quite Hollywood story, pointing that Eugene Rudy is the homeless whose personality managed to be identified, – was under the influence of heavy synthetic drugs. However conspiracy theorists never react to such statements, and the search query of “LPQ-79” still remains to one of the Centers for monitoring and prophylaxis of diseases (CDC), popular on the website of the American organization.
Meanwhile neither mythical LPQ-79, nor quite actual rabies obviously do not suit for a role of full-fledged VZCh. The first does not exist actually, another has to change too strongly to turn into “zombie agent”. It is so strong that beyond its powers to the modern science even if some secret evil genius will arm with it. But what if the virus of a rabies manages to mutate? “Mother Nature – the serial murderer, in it will be compared nobody to it on an ingenuity”, – one of heroes of the zombie movie “War of the worlds of Z” says.
However it is also improbable. The virologist of Miami University Samita Andreanski (Samita Andreansky) tells: “Certainly, it is possible to submit the scenario at which the virus of a rabies will receive genes of some flu which will provide it a possibility of distribution in the airborne path, plus genes of a virus of measles or the real encephalitis capable to change the person and behavior, plus Ebola genes forcing you to bleed profusely effectively… But the nature does not love such chimeras”. Just as it is impossible to receive a winged horse or a centaur with human and horse bodies at the same time, such virus is simply impossible. Mother Nature, maybe, is also cruel, but is not mad.
According to the American Federal agency on the zombie and vampires (to the organization not absolutely serious, but popular), the disease caused by VZCh proceeds in three stages, without the long-lived incubation interval. On the first the main symptoms of “zombizm” – a headache and fever, thirst and tachycardia are quickly shown. Something steps on the second like a catatonic coma: at infected deep damage of a brain develops. At last, at the third stage he “rises from the dead”, finally turning into the zombie. The patient badly reacts to external irritants though it is extremely sensitive to some of them, he aggravates an olfaction, loss of monitoring and the highest aggression are observed.
Plan of rescue
All this, however, does not disturb people (including quite serious scientist) with all the heart to have a good time, considering “zombie apocalypse” as an amusing subject for quite serious reasonings and interesting speculation. In particular, such non-profit organizations as Fund of a research of the zombie (Zombie Research Foundation) or the Federal agency on the zombie and vampires (Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency) deal with these issues.
Quite recently scientists from Cornell University led by Alexi Alemi managed to study VZCh epidemiology: they made mathematical model of distribution of the fictional zombie virus in which considered the modern ideas of this disease and spread of diseases in general. Despite all lightness of this work, its results were reported at a meeting of the American physical society on March 5, 2015.
Really, such approach looks especially attractive to training of students in epidemiological model operation – and for working off of a number of absolutely realistic scenarios. For example, one of the SIR models accepted in science, plus the present demographic data on the USA was the basis for a made mention research of experts from Alexi Alemi’s group. They broke all territory of the country within model into the sites, cages filled with this or that number of people according to open information on the population for 2010. “Our approach reminds model operation of chemical reactions, – scientists explained. – We use four states: “healthy”, “infected”, “zombie” and “the dead zombie”, with a possibility of unilateral transition between them”.
Within the SIR model different groups of the population are considered in quality “(susceptible) which are under the threat”, “infected” (infected) or “restored” (recovering) – certainly, with particular amendments. “In case of the real disease you either recover, or die, – Alexi Alemi explains. – Zombies do not recover: the single path to get rid of the zombie – to kill him”. Therefore the SIR model turned into SID: each person can pass through the stages “healthy”, “the infected zombie” and “dead zombie”.
According to scientists, this “small” amendment to a root changes a current of epidemic which begins to be defined by the relation of two parameters completely: number “zombifitsiruyushchikh” of stings, on the one hand, and number “zombitsidnykh” of murders – with another. In other words, the relation of effectiveness of the attacks of people and the living dead persons resisting to them.
To estimate this relation, authors had to study the modern movies, such as the cult “Zombie by the name of Sean”. They found out that, as a rule, it makes about 0,8: the zombie are applied, on average, on 20% by more stings, than people – mortal blows and shots. At such relation of chances the mankind, of course, has not enough. However the model allowed to vary this parameter, considering various options. And at more favorable relation of stings to acts of “zombitsid” the picture of “apocalypse” turns out not such catastrophic at all.
Model operation showed that the concrete place of the beginning of epidemic is not of great importance. Densely populated areas can be mown clean by VZCh within about a month (not without reason one of the zombie movies and is called: “28 days later”). Moreover, such megalopolises as New York perish literally in a day. However in some remote areas the disease can not develop and many months later after the beginning of infection. It strongly differs from the picture habitual to us on cinema for which “zombie apocalypse” begins at once everywhere and at the same time.
The action plan on a case of “zombie apocalypse” is available even for the Pentagon. Despite all strangeness of this fact, existence of the document in a year before last it was confirmed officially. The plan under the CONOP 8888 code is in the closed access and, according to the American military, “includes methodical recommendations for the joint command of the American armed forces about development of the emergency comprehensive scenario for protection of civilians against the zombie’s horde”. However, the American military are not so naive, and seriously the option of opposition to the recovered dead persons, of course, is not considered. Simply it is one of hypothetical scenarios of succession of events which allows to think over and count various actual situations on counteraction to armies of the armed insurgents within the country, beginning from a stage of control and interception of an initiative – and before restitution of the civil power.
Rules of a zombitsid
“The guide to survival among the zombie” of Max Brooks became one of best-sellers of the book market of 2003. In it – it is half-joking, half-serious – it is told about the different parties of a phenomenon of “zombie apocalypse” and the useful tips on protection against the risen dead persons and fight against them are given. We give several most important.
1. Have all the essentialest: water, food, medicines, lamps, batteries, matches etc.
2. You steer clear of buildings and in general selfcontained spaces – they can become a trap.
3. Beat and shoot without fear, without regret, without deliberating – directly in the head. You remember: they are already dead.
4. The firearms are more effective, but at cold the charge does not come to an end.
5. You hold near at hand the radio set on a case of an emergency communication – perhaps, you receive a signal of a safe shelter.
6. Avoid hit of blood in a mouth and on skin, be careful of scratches and stings.
7. Farther from the city – farther from problems.
8. Choose the car more reliable, best of all – a collector armored car. Also stock up with gasoline!
9. Try to spend the night on the open area, choose the heights giving the padding review.
10. Be imperceptible and be on the alert! Whenever possible avoid firing and light. During “zombie apocalypse” there are no places completely safe, is only less dangerous.