Awhile ago, I stumbled onto an article online that seemed to be ripped right out of the front pages of the Walking Dead or Zombieland.
Real to life zombies? Are you kidding?
Well, come to find out, the final outbreak is sooner than we ever could have expected. They truly do walk among us. Well, sort of. More like stand up on their hind legs, fall over, and that kind of stuff.
Well, here we go. Read on to find out about Raccoon Zombies!
Click here to read more about how it all will end in my Dystopian Scenarios Series.
You’re Kidding, Right?
I was actually at work, on a break, flipping through news articles on my cell phone, when I came across an article about zombie raccoons.
I clicked on it, wanting to know the punch line to the joke. But, they were being serious.
It started originally in a small town in Ohio (don’t they all?). Down a quiet street, on the other side of the tracks. Broken down steps that lead up to the rotten porch, the door hanging slightly ajar.
It’s the make of every horror or disaster movie for the last fifty years. Just throw in Hollywood’s latest starlet and it’s most recent strapping young fella, and you have movie gold.
Yet, this story doesn’t have any of that. What it does have, though, is hundreds (I’m not kidding) of cases of raccoons that have been infected by a virus that turns them into brain craving, unstable, often violent undead.
Like I said, it started in a place called Youngstown, Ohio, where reports started coming in out of nowhere about raccoons coming out during the day, many of them disoriented, stumbling about, standing on their hind legs, flashing and gnashing their teeth at anyone that gets near.
They eventually determined these raccoons were infected by distemper. Yep, the same thing you vaccinate your dog – I bet you never knew that you were vaccinating against the zombie virus, did you?
This new found plague spread quickly throughout the country, to places like Toronto, Illinois, and then finally to New York City.
This virus cause raccoons to lose their natural fear of people, are often confused, aggressive, bear their teeth, and walk in circles. They fall backwards, all in a futile attempt to work with an altered and swelled brain.
Eventually, distemper infected raccoons die. In fact, 176 have died just in one location already.
That’s a lot of raccoons!
And there doesn’t seem to be an end any time soon, either. This supernatural holocaust is happening at our back door and there isn’t really much we can do about it!
What Would it Take to Cross the Interspecies Barrier?
Now, authorities say Canine distemper cannot be caught by humans. It can, though, be easily spread to other animals – especially to dogs and cats, too.
It causes physical problems first, then leads to neurological issues, ultimately killing the host (that sounds alot like 28 Days Later).
Distemper is spread both by direct bodily fluid contact and is also air-born, such as from coughing or a sneeze (aah, crap!).
So, maybe humans are safe for the moment, but what are the chances one day one of these harmless to human virus decides to jump the line?
Zombies are coming. Are you ready?
Now, crossing the species barrier is no easy task in and of itself. Sadly, though, the further along we go, the closer we get to it, despite all the strides we’ve made, there are today viruses that simply don’t listen to our medical superiority.
Antibiotic resistant pathogens, anyone? They are out there and they never use to be. They evolved, adapted. Become something different, unique. Something we can’t even begin to get our hands around.
And, who’s to say that something like distemper isn’t next?
Or, maybe it will just decide one day that humans are a better host now, with all of our mass processed foods and horrible western diets.
There is no telling what will make the leap, and all it takes is one time to literally wipe out the last 100 years of medical advancement.
Of course, this is if the virus originates from animals. What if, instead, it originates with us? What if we inadvertently (or, advertently) release a virus from a lab? It would take no time at all, especially in a populated area, for all hell to break loose.
Think of a virus that worked like distemper: infecting through bite or saliva or through a cough. Then match that to the human petri dish of western civilization, with all of our cohabitation in large metropolitan areas, our insistence on central air, our indoor, placid, softer than soft jobs, sitting behind our desks and mashing keys on a keyboard.
We are a prime target as a race for something awful to come along and just sucker punch us into extinction.
What to Do When the Raccoons Come for You?
So, awhile back, two students at Cornell University stipulated that it would take approximately four weeks for an average zombie outbreak to overtake the US mainland. This seems pretty reasonable, though, it would greatly depend on the variables – type of zombies, infection site, population density, etc.
They went on to say, after that initial four week period, much of the US would be infected. Then it would take significantly longer for the zombie horde to take the rest of the country, given those variables.
Keep in mind, there are still large swaths of the country where few people live. Much of the US population is collected in major cities on the east coast. Fly over states of the midwest and the individualistic western third of the continent would take much more time to conquer, since the population is not as dense.
Where would the safest place be, you ask? Well, remote areas of Montana and Nevada would be the ticket. The two researchers claim these areas would remain zombie free even four months after an outbreak.
What are the Most Likely Candidates?
Hands down, rabies is by far the most likely virus to create a zombie apocalypse. It infects the central nervous system of the host, causing violence and madness (much like the zombies of 28 Days Later), and can already cross over the species boundary from animal to human. The only thing stopping it is it’s limitation on transmission.
If it could spread like the common cold or flu, we would be doomed.
But, there are other, more exotics out there that could wreak havoc on our future existence.
One example is a fungus that hijacks an ant’s brain, remote controls it to a specific location, then cannibalizes the ant’s brain in order to spread it’s flowering spores.
Check it out on Youtube. It’s horrendous.
In the end, and, at least for the near future, we don’t have to worry too much about a nasty virus crossing over from the animal kingdom and having its way with us humans. Nor do we need to be all too concerned with well known viruses like Rabies having a bad day and mutating into the next Walking Dead Part 2.
But, the way we play around with these things in the medical community, and the threat posed by the advancement of technology and are insatiable appetite for killing everyone around us for no good reason, I think it’s only a matter of time before that outbreak happens.
I think it will be our killer in the end. Or, maybe the virus just wants our brains to be the fertile host for its reproductive flower stem, so it can propagate the next generation.
What a brave new world that would be, huh?
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Soon Dawn finds herself on the precipice between life and death, love and loss, peace and tragedy.
Will she make it through? Will those she’s trying to help turn on her? Will an unseen, malefic force from the future unravel all the good she’s done?
Find out by getting the first book in the Meadow Series today!
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