Bad news: CDC now issuing advice on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse

First, a religious group claims that the Rapture will happen this Saturday. Then this post mysteriously appears on the CDC’s official blog.

If I see any locusts tomorrow, I’m barricading the door.

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil…), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born…

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

If you’re a “Walking Dead” fan, you know just how effective the CDC would be in the event of a true zombie outbreak. A few points, then. One: While normally I’d be outrageously outraged that taxpayer money was being spent on something as fanciful as this, (a) it’s actually a clever way to spread tips on emergency awareness (the site has been swamped with traffic) and (b) the sheer awesomeness of the zombie genre justifies any expense. Two: Elsewhere in the piece, the author claims that once you’re bitten by a zombie, you’re a goner. Not true, actually; quick action to amputate the bitten limb can isolate the infection before it spreads to the brain. Amiright, “Day of the Dead” fans? Three: There’s simply no way, in a world where Romero classics like “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead” exist, that this guy’s favorite zombie movie is “Resident Evil.” Nor is it true that zombies have any special appetite for brains, as even casual zombie-flick fans would happily tell you. They’re not picky in what they eat. They’re dead. They’re all messed up. Which means the author of this piece is either dangerously misinformed about the true threat from the zombie menace or this is government disinformation designed to reduce the public’s capacity to respond effectively. What is Obama up to now?

Exit question: Can anyone explain quickly in the comments who’ll allegedly be saved and who won’t on Rapture Day Saturday? Is it all theists, or just Christians, or just some Christians? I want to gauge how many of us will be left behind to battle the zombie hordes come Sunday. Luckily I live in New York City, so … pretty much all of us will still be here.

Update (Ed): You think you have it bad, AP?  I’ll be in Vegas on Saturday.  I’d bet on the number of people being Raptured out of there on Saturday, but I doubt the bookies are taking bets on anything above the number … oh … one.