A moderate amount of paranoia is healthy. In fact I don’t really consider it paranoia as much as “vigilance”. I maintain that most crime is a result of a lack of vigilance on the part of the victim. Whether you’re at home, walking the dog or driving to the store, you must maintain complete awareness of your surroundings. Many times, I will formulate an “escape and evasion” plan, if I sense any chance that the situation could become dangerous or otherwise unhealthy. Most times, this is a game that simply helps pass the time. It really does sound like paranoia, but it’s not, from my perspective.
At home, we maintain a high state of vigilance. This is due, in part, to the abundance of crime in the Savannah area. But the primary reason for staying “at the ready” is zombies. This is my reason alone. My spouse doesn’t share my outlook on the undead. A point of clarification: We all know someone we consider to be “brain-dead”, not clinically so but as a function of genetics. Perhaps they are the bad drivers you encounter, or maybe clueless co-workers. Or, God forbid, a family member. An alternative description for the brain-dead is “oxygen thief”, i.e. they consume oxygen but return little or nothing. These are not zombies. However, I am convinced that zombies will manifest themselves in the not too distant future.
Here is my rationale: The medical community is facing a number of “super bugs” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_resistance), bacteria that have become increasingly resistant to treatment. My scenario utilizes a derivative of Moore’s Law, in which bacteria mutates at a rate that outpaces our ability to affect them. These superbugs may develop characteristics allowing them to mimic cerebrospinal functions as well as some basic autonomic functions, in essence re-animating previously dead tissue. Since tissue retains a minute electrical charge after death, the combination of this charge and the mutation of the bacteria could lead to the creation of a true zombie. Again, the reader should not confuse the aforementioned brain-dead / oxygen thief for a zombie. The former may cause you to wish you were dead but the latter may actually kill you.
Further, in an effort to project a balanced view of the subject, it has been suggested by some writers that “zombie” may be offensive to those affected and that the correct term should be “walking dead”. However, in an era where political correctness has run amok, I will maintain the use of zombie, as I’m rarely a model of political correctness.
Now to the title of this post. Zombies may already exist. And just because I’ve never seen one, that doesn’t mean they don’t. Or that they could not exist in the very near future. My advice: Be aware, be prepared.