An update made recently on the website of the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caught the attention of Internet users: the American public health and safety specialists upgraded the section called “Zumbi Readiness”.
The work, a kind of booklet aimed at teachers, scout leaders and public health officials, lists all the necessary information for those who need to deal with a situation in which the dead come back to life.
Although the content of the manual is from 2011, and it is found in a sarcastic area of the website, the big question is: why the update, right in the middle of a pandemic and, coincidentally, in a year pointed out by the French seer Nostradamus as the of the zombie apocalypse?
Asked about the update of the bizarre threat on their website, health experts pondered that something started as a joke “proved to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences in preparing for all dangers via ‘preparation for zombies’. ”
How does Zumbi Readiness work?
The booklet “Prontidão Zumbi” offers information and lesson plans for teachers. A downloadable poster says “Get a Kit. Make a plan. Be ready”. It all starts with an essay in the form of a report for a government agency with the theme “a zombie apocalypse is imminent”.
Next, students are challenged to do research on a real catastrophe, such as Hurricane Katrina or the Chernobyl plant disaster. Finally, in “Emergency Response Council for the City of Calamity,” students play a variety of roles, one as mayor, another as chief of police, director of public health, and so on.
And it is during this kind of role-playing game that students are informed about an outbreak of zombies in the city, in which the undead move slowly to the central region. Students will have limited time to develop a community plan, answering: where should citizens go? What should they do? What about people with disabilities? How to communicate the fact to people of other languages?
What do the experts say?
Interviewed by Yahoo, several natural disaster experts spoke out about CDC’s zombie initiative. The disaster preparedness instructor at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Cheryl Nelson, said that “the more creative ways we can convey the preparedness message, the better”.
Mitchel A. Rosen, a professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health in Piscataway, USA, said the CDC manages to make natural disaster preparedness understandable to different populations. And he points out that the organization for a supposed zombie apocalypse just “makes it fun to learn about disaster preparedness”.
Another Rutgers professor, Lee Clarke, says that while a zombie readiness may seem like a joke at first glance, all the useful instructions are there: just replace “’zombie’ with ‘flood’ or ‘hurricane’”. “zombies are just more interesting and get people’s attention.”
For those who think that a zombie apocalypse is a joke, says Nelson, just remember what happened in 2020. And she jokes: “if a global pandemic happened, what will happen next? Zombies? ”. Perhaps the current pandemic would have been easier if a zombie kit was already available, with a lot of gel alcohol, baby wipes, masks and toilet paper, she says.