CDC Zombie Preparedness: Genius or Silly?

The US entertainment industry has been fascinated with zombies since “Dawn of the Dead” first released in 1978. Since then, countless books, movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment have hopped on the ‘zombie bandwagon’. While the root of the morbid fascination with the topic has many answers for many people, there are two questions that we can look at to learn more about how pop culture can make waves in public health/preparedness. Are we really worried about a pandemic zombie virus that causes us to reanimate and become mindless cannibals? National Geographic and American Scientist are both agreeing that a Rabies/Flu hybrid mutation could produce ‘zombie-like’ effects. There is also a fungus, called the Cordyceps fungus, that infects an insect host, controls its body until it outgrows the host, and then explodes from the body. Are any of these things worth ‘worrying’ over, though? Probably not, although the CDC has an entire chunk of its website dedicated to Zombie Preparedness. Makes you wonder what their motives are. Could it be that they are genuinely worried about a zombie disease outbreak? Or are they wisely taking advantage of the popularity of the zombie craze to encourage people to be prepared for a natural disaster or emergency situation? Wisely taking advantage of a pop culture topic to encourage the majority of the population to have an emergency prep kit is only going to aid in emergency/natural disaster relief effort. “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” Or at least, that’s what I hear!

-Jordan Wilcox


3 thoughts on “CDC Zombie Preparedness: Genius or Silly?

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention I am Legend!! I feel like that’s definitely a book/movie that touches on how a zombie uprising would be a public health issue. Movies and media definitely play a huge role in how we perceive potential health risks, and despite the overwhelming evidence that Romero was not predicting an ever-looming zombie apocalypse, there are still individuals that are ready. Our culture is really obsessed with the notion of pandemics causing worldwide panic to the point there’s tons of movies about any number of infectious diseases mutating or jumping species to create the end of times. Like you said, it’s mostly been grabbed up to maybe encourage some better preparedness, but it’s definitely an interesting approach.

    Kaylin Brodzki


  2. I love that you did something unique and fun for your post, everyone loves zombies. In a previous composition class I took we evaluated societies fascination with “monsters”. It has a lot to do with the current, ,underlying societal fears of that time. Perhaps our fascination with zombies is our way of making sense of our fears of natural disaster, end of the world/apocalypse, etc. Aside from that, I think that is probably most effective for the CDC to take an approach for risk prevention based off of popular culture because our many people become socially aware through mainstream media. Not that we are becoming less informed, but that we are focusing our attention on media solely for entertainment.

    -Mattie Martin


  3. I really liked your article and how you talked about zombies as a different approach. Today’s society seems to almost accept the fact that there could be this apocalyptic outbreak where all of humanity is in trouble. Society has even gone to lengths to broadcast shows like doomsday preppers where it shows its acceptable to expect these crazy events for the future.

    -Matthew Wurzelbacher


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