Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Apocalypse Survival Guide: Pandemic

I’m doing this on Tuesday this time because I couldn’t think of another post for Tuesday. So here it is.

It’s a plague! That somehow kills everyone and doesn’t respond to any modern medicine. Hey, at least no one’s turning into zombies this time.

So I’ve scoured everything I could find that has world destroying plagues (sans zombification…wow, that’s a real word, who knew?) and while there’s a pretty good chunk of literature (THE STAND and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN are probably the most well-known) and movies where the world is wiped out by some illness.

Survival Tips: Plague Addition
1. Don’t assume you’re immune. Even if you’ve been having vivid dream-messages from God. In fact, that might be a symptom.

2. If you hear word of a plague, stay away from all strange animals. I have seen entirely too many pandemic movies that have started with someone deciding, “Ooh! A monkey! There can’t be anything dangerous about touching a wild animal with a medical tag on its leg!”

3. Remember to always wash your hands. But don’t use antibacterial soap. All that stuff that promises to kill 99.9% of germs just means that the remaining 0.1% has evolved to kill you better. Seriously, antibacterial soap probably caused the pandemic in the first place.

4. Make sure you’re not with anyone who will kill you the second you come down with a case of the sniffles. Which pretty much means make sure you’re not with anyone.

5. Depending on the severity of the plague (i.e. if it infects all the animals, too…which is impossible, but if we’re imagining a plague we might as well go all in), you might not be able to eat any meat, even if you hunt for it yourself. Stick to dried goods and vegetables.

6. One of my general apocalypse survival tips is to find a doctor and stick with her/him. This goes double for plague-pocalypses.

7. Remember: everyone is a potential carrier, so it’s probably not a good idea to invite the neighbors over for tea in the middle of an outbreak.

8. Good news! Unless all the movies have lied to me (why would they do that?) there’s probably a research facility somewhere that will keep searching for a cure until the bitter end! Bad news! They probably aren’t accepting lodgers. But you should try to stay alive as long as possible so you can get said cure (if they find it).

That’s all the plague tips I have. If you can think of anything else to add, be my guest. And remember to stay away from monkeys.


  1. I knew antibacterial soap would one day do us in!

  2. #3... That totally reminds me of a George Carlin routine where he goes on about how we should get more germs so our immune systems get stronger. Might as well start now.

    (I'm not saying don't wash your hands. But there's overdoing it.)

  3. It's been years since I last read the Stand. Scary, but very effective!

    Tom Clancy did a novel called Rainbow Six, about a radical environmentalist group that sought to wipe out 99.99999% of the human race to save the planet. They planned to use a pandemic to achieve their objectives, but were thwarted just in time.

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  5. The Stand gave me nightmares the first time I read it, and then I went and watched the mini series they did of it on TV. That really didn't help. It made me compulsively wash my hands for days and I jumped whenever someone coughed. Now I want to read it again. It was a good story, in spite of the creepy/fear factor.

  6. My friend Yvonne Ventresca's YA novel, PANDEMIC, was just released (SkyPony Press) and has gotten some great reviews. You could read that for additional helpful pandemic-survival tips!

  7. Just by reading this my skin became itchy.

  8. I think you may not be too far off on the antibacterial stuff...I just hope it won't result in a zombie takeover. :-)

  9. Hi Jeanne - live healthily and heartily as best you can - the more we stress and worry .. the more we're likely to get nobbled.

    Panic not .. be sensible .. but I'd hate to be near the plague or any other nasty .. I sincerely hope I don't get the short straw - survived so far!! Cheers Hilary

  10. It's not so much the plague I'd worry about ... it's the uninfected. If The Walking Dead has taught us anything ... :)

  11. #2 - LOL!!!! Yes, totally! WHY do people go near monkeys in movies? It never ends well.

    Ok, I'm printing this up and posting it on my super survival corkboard. Cuz you know, if the world is ending, the internet will stop working... ;)

  12. I'm with David. Your biggest danger is the uninfected people who will kill you because you might be infected -- or because they want your stuff!


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