Quarantine – Home Defense and the Zombie Apocalypse
In May of 2012, amidst a tornado of “zombie” media in books, films, and video games, a particular incident occurred in which 31-year old Rudy Eugene violently attacked a homeless man, Ronald Poppo. Most of us can easily recall the disturbing news – and for some, the photographs that also circulated – that Rudy had partially cannibalized Ronald while nude and crazed on what was reportedly bath salts.
Along with other attacks around the time involving cannibalism, Rudy’s growling, bestial behavior only fueled speculation that the zombie apocalypse was truly at hand. Many had started referring to Rudy as the Miami Zombie; admittedly, this conclusion is in no small part due to the trend of the concept in popular entertainment.
A historical perspective
History has demonstrated again and again that the real nature of deadly infectious disease comes through much more subtle means. In fact, a horde of snarling flesh-eaters might seem like a small obstacle compared to the all-encompassing, stealthy nature of diseases like The Black Death, which wiped out as much as 60% of Europe’s population in the 14th century. The disease has ravaged entire populations twice before in history as well.
And the way this disease was spread certainly wasn’t as anything as obvious as the shambling undead – it spread through various channels, and it became so difficult to identify that many believed that the very air was contaminated. While some debate the specifics to this very day, the most generally accepted theory is that it rode on the backs of fleas and rodents, who often sought out human hosts and grain to feed on.
Consequentially, people became a source of infection themselves, and given how The Black Death sapped the energy of individuals and gave them a deathly appearance, it wasn’t much unlike the circumstances of a “zombie apocalypse.” With such a devastating death toll, communities took various actions to attempt to salvage the health of those who weren’t yet affected. Quarantines became a regular method at keeping healthy populations disease free with some success; and in fact, this strategy remains popular for handling contagious disease control to this day.
Applying the principles of quarantine
Regardless if a deadly outbreak takes the form of a real-life zombie attack or more like a plague, it can be helpful for prepared homeowners to recognize the benefits of a quarantine-zone in keeping their own household safe for such a possibility. It can be especially helpful when a member of your house suffers from a highly-contagious disease. Even for short-term issues, like threats of a potential chemical attack, learning how to apply the concepts of quarantine to your home defense can be a significant method of disease prevention.
It’s prudent to avoid any contact with outsiders if the contagion of your disease outbreak is either unknown or recognized as something transferrable among people. In helping others in need, it can be difficult to maintain an effective quarantine. Keeping individuals who are ill in a well-sealed separate room, or even a different area entirely, is far preferable than attempting to coexist in the same environment. When handling supplies or rations to infected individuals, it’s crucial to ensure that contact remains as distant and sanitary as manageable. Providing your own sustainable food sources with a sufficient supply of resources in your own home to avoid contact outside is crucial as well.
The main idea of a quarantine is isolation, meaning preventing contact between healthy and infected populations. In terms of home defense, this means ensuring that all doors and windows in your home are reinforced to prevent forcible entry. This can be a particular problem in times of scarcity during a widespread crisis, when looting rises. Reinforcing your main entries with door-jambs and chain-locks can be very effective in increasing the durability of these entrances. Windows can be replaced with shatter-resistant panes, but the more affordable option is installing window film on any accessible windows. Making sure your fences are at least six feet high can help in keeping from people from easily accessing your property.
These are just a few ideas in making your home more inaccessible when an outbreak threatens your home. With a dose of historical awareness and forethought, a quarantined household holds a much greater chance at successfully riding out the rigors of a massive outbreak. What are your ideas for your fellow preppers on improving the chances of surviving such an event?