Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.So to summarize: an outbreak will be disastrous, unless there is a quick, well planned attack. So keep your shotgun close and I'll see you in the designated safe zone (mine is the nearest Super Walmart).
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thinking About Thinking About Zombies
I have given my response to a zombie attack quite a bit a thought. Through the years I've realized I'm not the only one. I'm one of over 70,000 members of the Facebook group "The Hardest Part of a Zombie Apocalypse Will be Pretending I'm Not Excited" (one of only a few groups I grace my presence with). So you might ask: why would people think so much about something so unlikely? Well first, the possible costs are high. If you are caught unprepared, you'll be another unnamed screaming victim in the background one of many zombie movies. However, if you have given it proper consideration, you may survive. That, I believe, is why people give zombies more thought than other horror creatures. If you are attacked by vampires, werewolves, poltergeists, aliens, or any other supernatural beast, the best you can do is try to follow the "rules" of surviving scary movies. Zombies, on the other hand, are beat by good planning, a good wall, and a good blow to the brain. As strange as this post admittedly is, it's not like I wrote a Mathematical Modeling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection: