THE DEAD TIMES

DEAD ARE COMING...

Ebola Outbreak

This article is, admittedly, slightly rushed out to be topical - forgoing the usual time-consuming polishing stages for a more pertinent early release. However, as you read on (if, in fact, my spurious warnings have not already dissuaded you from this article), I do not believe the situation causing me to put virtual pen to non-existent paper, will reach its closing stages for a long, long time.

I refer of course to the on-going plight of West Africa. Africa has once again come under attack from the dreaded Ebola virus - one of the most feared contagion's in all the world. There have been, at the time of writing (August 15th 2014), a staggering 1,145 deaths from the voracious disease and an even higher number of suspected infections. The outbreak is so bad, one of the worst recorded since records began, a plethora of agencies have donated help including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the renowned, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

What actually is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that, once caught and after an initial incubation period, starts slowly with flu-like symptoms - fever, sore throat, muscle pains, intense weakness and headaches. Later, things get more serious with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, organ failure, and both internal and external bleeding, often from the eyes and ears. It is, putting it bluntly, extremely nasty stuff.

There is no vaccine for Ebola and no infallible cure - no one (except the extremely fortunate few with a natural immunity) is safe from this microscopic, unseen predator. The mortality rate after infection is up to 90%.

But, hang on. This is a Zombie site - why am I reading about Ebola?

Ebola is the one virus that is considered most closely related to the, presently fictional, Zombie virus. The main reasons for this are the incredible mortality rate, the fact there is no cure and, most predominantly, the fact that Ebola shares the same transmission vector with the mythical Zombie virus - bites! Actually, any contact with bodily fluids of an already infected human or animal is enough to spread the virus.

And this is where I come full circle. No one has yet linked the current (2014) Ebola outbreak in West Africa and Zombies. So, as so often happens with things related to Zombies, it's left for The Dead Times to breach the barrier of intellectual ineptitude.

Wait, what?

Yes, it may seem strange and just another conspiracy theory that the world of reason really does not need, but I do actually believe we may be dealing with a Zombie outbreak here. My reasons for this bold claim are laid out below, in beautifully categorised sections.

Stigma

A major factor in the severity of the "so-called" Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the stigma surrounding it - Africans are speculative about the virus's origins and even try to hide the fact they are infected from authorities. Some African citizens even think the West - that's us - sent the virus over there and deliberately let it escape into the populace in a super-evil experiment. Others believe there is no infection at all and authorities are just rounding innocents up into quarantine, never to return. This sounds suspiciously like Zombie-activity to me. Armed guards rounding people up to administer forced "treatment" in quarantine camps reminders me of a 28 Weeks Later situation - a film where Britain struggles to control a Zombie-like infection. As for people not wanting to tell the higher ups about their possible infection by the virus is them wanting to avoid a bullet to the head.

This may seem a weak argument but the next point, makes the theory a whole lot stronger.

Troops - an AK-47 cannot kill a virus

A few days ago I saw the 10 o'clock news on the BBC (something I do not do very often as news is, more often than not, depressing). There was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a piece about the current state of the on-going Ebola outbreak in Africa. The major thing that struck me was the footage of proper military soldiers with guns. I fail to see the requirement of assault rifles in the war against Ebola - you can't kill a virus with an AK-47. What you can kill though is infected humans and, at the later stages, the walking dead. Of course, it could be just a show of force - an effort to control border crossings from terrified people. However, is it really so bad that people will flee across countries in their hundreds? What exactly are they fleeing from, an invisible killer that they could equally be running towards or the merciless hordes of the dead, stopping at nothing in their quest to kill the living? I know which sounds more likely to me, and it isn't the former.

The soldiers on the TV were all African soldiers, giving credence to the border-control theory. If you hear reports of foreign troops being sent in, especially US troops, even if it is reported as being for support only - trust me, its Zombies. The end of civilization will have begun.

Media

How many of you lost all serious interest once I suggested that the Ebola outbreak in Africa may actually be an outbreak of the Zombie virus and are now just reading this for entertainment value alone? C'mon own up - I know you're out there.

Now imagine if I had been a news reporter trying to explain that the dead have risen - to imply that the impossible is not only possible, it is actually happening. I would have been the equivalent of laughed off the stage. A reporter just mentioning the word Zombies to their superiors would pretty much be the end of their career - dismissed as an untrustworthy hype-creating "sensationalist". Take the big-budget production of World War Z as an example. In this film, the world was completely unprepared for, and nearly wiped out by, the relentless Zombie infection all because everybody ignored the warning memo. Why did they do this? Because it mentioned the word Zombies. So believe me when I say this - if there are Zombies out there, we back here, lounging in the safety and comfort of modern civilization, won't know about it until it is too late.

What if lots of reporters tell the same story? The problem scales up - the news company they work for runs the story (unless you believe that shady government organisations have ultimate control over all news broadcasts, deciding what to run and what not to run) and that company is laughed off, going out of business permanently. What if several news companies all report the same thing? In that case, we'd probably take it seriously but, in all honesty, the chance of all news companies running very similar stories, all on the same day is slim at best - even before taking the vastly different timezones into account.

It has happened before

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is nothing especially new - from 1976 Africa has seen more than its fair share of the dreaded Ebola virus. However, this outbreak has seen almost a thousand-fold increase in the number of cases and eventual deaths. Why is this latest insurgence so catastrophic compared to the others? I think you should know my answer by now.

The real point of this section though, is to ponder upon why this outbreak has been classified as an "international health emergency" by the WHO (the World Health Organization, not the band). It is true that planes, trains, ships, cars and the global exchange of goods have all made the world, effectively, smaller - aiding the spread of viruses and diseases dramatically. The same argument applies to international aid - foreign countries send in specialists to help combat the disease, they subsequently get infected (it is very hard not to when in such close proximity to infectious patients) and are hurriedly shipped back to their home country for expert medical attention. This has already happened in the US.

If the "so-called" Ebola outbreak does actually cause the dead to rise and attack the living, an international effort to combat the virus and ensure it does not spread into other countries is downright essential. If the WHO, a world renowned and globally respected organisation, mentioned the word Zombies, do you honestly think anyone would take them seriously? No - hell no.

An unknown origin

The origins of the current outbreak of Ebola are unclear. It is believed that the horror all started with a two-year old toddler from the village of Guéckédou in Southeastern Guinea. From there it spread exponentially - the child's mother caught it, then the sister, then the grandmother and finally a healthcare worker. Once people from nearby countries attended the funerals of the deceased, they came in close contact with the infected bodies and transmission was all but guaranteed. Returning to their countries of residence, unwitting carriers of the deadly virus, it was only a matter of time before the spread continued.

No one knows how that first toddler came to contract the virus. There is every chance that the toddler came across a Zombie and got infected - either through a bite, a scratch or, knowing a child's natural curiosity, contact with bodily fluids such as blood and that blood then taking a trip from fingers to mouth. Okay, this is one of the more flimsy arguments in this whole discussion but, without any definitive evidence to support another direction, the possibility of an encounter with a Zombie remains open. The Zombie in question would probably have had to be stuck on something, unable to move - tangled in Jungle vines or overgrown plants for example. This way, it could not follow the slow-moving toddler back to their home village and inflict more damage. Saying that, another thought occurs, maybe the Zombie did attack the town and it went unreported - or, even if it was reported, saying "there's a Zombie in our town" is a one-way ticket to the loony-bin.

Am I right - have your say

So there you have it folks - my views on the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and why I believe it could actually be the Zombie virus. There is some pretty strong evidence supporting my beliefs (in my opinion) but, as always I welcome your input. I am eager to know what my readers think - am I barking up the wrong tree, do you share my hidden Zombie virus mentality, have you discovered any possible evidence that I have missed - whatever it is, please add a comment below (it does help me out so much in gauging the interest in these sorts of articles).

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The Dead Times © Tom Clark 2013 onwards

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