OK, I’m going to preface this blog posting by letting you know I’ve watched a lot of The Walking Dead over the last few weeks. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. The season premier was this past Sunday and I wanted to be up on all of the story lines. I’m getting older so sometimes I can’t remember who’s eating who. Plus the show provides a bonding opportunity for me and the guys, who all played Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
Let me just say, if there is a zombie apocalypse, I’m almost 100% sure that my kiddos would come through with flying colors. Our recent dinner conversation revolved around the pros and cons of the local sporting goods store as a possible temporary fortress against the undead. It has two stories, with limited access to the second floor; lots of trapping gear, firearms and ammo; there’s plenty of camping equipment, including warm clothing, lanterns and candles, water sterilization kits, and non-perishable, high calorie food items; and it’s located next to a major highway for ease of a getaway, if necessary. After 30 minutes of listening, I was convinced.
I like The Walking Dead, not for its blood and gore, but more for the way it delves into the question, “What would happen to humanity when society is destroyed?”
And now we have Ebola.
Not quite the zombie apocalypse, no one is rising up, but I start to think about the what-ifs.
You see, we’re a much more mobile country than Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Already two people have migrated from Dallas to points farther away than a day’s ride on the back of a donkey. One nurse headed to Cleveland. A lab tech boarded a cruise ship. When you step back and think of it, each of these people could have come in contact with (conservatively) dozens of others from areas outside of Cleveland, Dallas, or the port of origin for the cruise ship.
Traveling last weekend, I was acutely aware of all of the public surfaces I touch as part of my average day. The door leading to the ladies’ room, the ketchup pump at the fast food place, the handle of the elliptical machine in the workout room, and even the pile of Gala apples I picked through in an effort to eat “healthier”. Who touched these places before me? Extremely rare for Ebola to spread this way, but possible.
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony to catch Ebola from an apple? So much for an apple a day keeping the doctor away.
I would hope that we, as U.S. citizens, are a little more vigilant about our hand-washing and cleaning practices, but are we that diligent? Did you know proper hand-washing practice states a person should scrub their hands with soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing, “Happy Birthday to Me” TWICE?
I don’t know about you, but my hand-washing usually goes,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Bir…. Oh look, I dropped my phone in the sink.
I’m going to think twice about keeping my phone in my shirt breast pocket from now on.
There I was, standing in front of the kitchen cabinets and gazing into the freezer assessing the stockpile of food. I think we could survive 3-4 weeks if we didn’t lose electricity. You know, if there was a nationwide curfew to keep Ebola from spreading.
And if worse came to worst, we could survive three weeks with no electricity, eating our way through the jars of jam, canned fruit, and pickles I’ve made this summer, using the two tanks of LP gas for the grill, the existing stockpile of wood to make cooking fires, and cracking open the well-head to drop a bucket down the hole for fresh water.