In 2009, led by Philip Munz, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa created an epidemiological analysis of an outbreak of undead zombies. The zombies in the study were based off the Living Dead’s slow-moving zombies, yet the findings of the study do not bode well for the human race. In fact, the study concluded that – unless dealt with quickly – all of human civilization would collapse. Every single home, business, city, and country would be consumed in a mass of thriving, swarming undead cadavers.
The authors of the study also concluded that offensive military strategies would be much more effective than attempting to quarantine the infection, as this would only serve to risk more human-to-zombie contact. However, the study did not definitively determine that a military strategy would work, or even save the human population. It would merely help to deter the constant consumption of the zombie horde.
Now, most zombie apocalypse stories often mention a cure, or a vaccine, for the zombie infection, so the study delved into this idea, too. The study discovered that a cure would do very little to slow the infection rate because the vaccinated individuals can still be consumed – they simple cannot be turned. If anything, a vaccination would most likely assist with leaving some humans alive during the initial outbreak, yet their odds of surviving the whole zombie apocalypse would be extremely close to zero.
Viewing the zombie apocalypse as a whole, the researchers determined that every single human would be dead or turned by the end of it. Zombies simply have one thing that humans cannot combat: a population that grows with the death of every human. Where one human dies, a zombie most likely arises; regardless, that is one less player on our team. Neutralizing every zombie would be about as difficult as neutralizing a whole virus strain, like Measles, except it walks around and consumes your friends and family.
In addition, the survival of a generation of humans would only lead to a larger food source for the undead predators. By reproducing and attempting to continue our species, we would be fulfilling their basic need of hunger. If there ever was an example of Catch-22, this would be it.
Remember, this statistical data is all based off the zombies from the Living Dead. If someone reran this study with a different breed of zombies, we may see a whole new outcome for the zombie apocalypse. For now, though, I am happy right where I am – zombie-free and not suffering from the fear of being eaten alive.
If you wish to read more about on the zombie apocalypse study, you can find it here: When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection. (Warning: PDF file.)