Sunday, May 25, 2008

when the shit hits the fan

So I am back to obsessing over the impending apocalypse. Not the I am a crazy religious nut end of the world apocalypse. Just the tired old oops we really shouldn't have kept playing with that 100% contagious 95% fatal virus in the lab cause George's wife left him for his sons best friends father and he has been drinking around the clock for the last three days and he forgot to replace the vent hood and never noticed when he caught his clean suit on that hook and well, hell, shit happens right?
It's too bad the first place infected George went was Walmart and then the liquor store.

I wonder about what would be the smartest thing to do after it all starts going to hell.

I still think raiding every pharmacy you can find is the best first move. Then raiding the hospital library for every surgical instruction manual, internal medicine manuals and labour/delivery and pediatrics manuals. I read The Stand and what complete bullshit it would be if you survived the plague and died of a burst appendix or you couldn't find any insulin.
A well stocked pharmacy full of every damn drug left in the world would be helpful.
You would have to brave the hospital to steal the real supplies. You would need surgical instruments , some kind of anesthesia, a ventilator...oh, hell how would you be able to steal an entire working OR in the middle of a disaster?
I don't know but I do know it has to be done. Maybe a midnight raid on that private plastic surgery clinic?
I think if you have thought ahead and had a proper home ready to hide in having a mini hospital in it could be a boon. It could be something that can be bartered and something that keeps you alive when everyone decides to get primal.
I know it wont take any time at all for survivors to become violent aggressors intent on wiping out any competition.
I guess that has to be prepared for. It makes me a little sick to think about it. But we have seen it at disaster sites all over the world. The first response has always been to inflict more pain on those already left helpless. Price gouging, racism,segregation, governmental foot dragging, insurance companies denying claims. No one tries to make things easy.
So we know that there will be little or no help coming our way and anyone who already has guns and the training to use them is going to be the biggest threat. The moment the armed forces are mobilized we are all going to be in a lot of trouble. They will become a very scary snake with it's head chopped off and they will have the overwhelming force to inflict whatever "laws" they deem advantageous to themselves.
It's been common throughout history that soldiers without direction or discipline are prone to rape and murder, pillaging the enemy we could say. The issue is will we become the enemy?
Will we be sheep to be herded by those that have the guns?
Does it make sense to have a cache of weapons only to be considered an enemy and taken prisoner by a military that has no government to lead it?
And where will our leaders be?
Will they be hiding in a bunker somewhere? Helpless and powerless to do anything but watch and hope the military is controlling and containing the citizenry so they can emerge as heroes?
We can only hope the military is taking it's orders from the infectious disease doctors but what happens when the doctors are struck down? What if the front line medical community, the first people exposed to whatever our dear friend George was playing with all succumb?
Isn't it plausible they would be the first to go?
Even after SARS we still have no consistent, enforceable infectious disease protocol. I mean we do have a sign in the ER that says to tell the nurse if you have a fever or a cough but what happens if everyone has a fever and cough? And isn't it too late when you are coughing into the face of the maskless triage nurse and her colleagues?
How many isolation beds do you think your local hospital has? I know mine has a pinch we could probably make a hundred sort of isolation rooms by converting private rooms but none will have the negative air system essential to containing a virus.
If you are lucky you live somewhere that has a lot of hospitals. It will increase your chances of survival if you get there first. What happens when all the beds are full?
I guess that's why I think having a mini hospital at home is the best plan. Cuts down on the competition but of course you are giving up access to someone who actually knows what they are doing but hell, that's what the medical books are for right?

If you get away with being the pharmacy bandit you need to turn your attention to food. Canned goods and lots of them. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to take over a mall complex that has a grocery store, Walmart, Canadian tire and a home depot. I guess you could build a giant razorwire fence and put guards everywhere but it seems way to obvious and will likely attract the attention of the military pretty damn quickly. No one wants that. Who in their right mind wants to go to war over a Walmart?
I guess looting is the way to go but this would have to be carefully thought out,well planned looting. You can forget about the televisions and the new Ipods, you need food,clothes and more than a few good pair of shoes. You may have to do an incredible amount of walking and the last thing you want is having to choose between three inch heels or a pair of flip flops.
If you think logically, methodically you will know you will need batteries. Thousands of batteries, And butane lighters. This is not the time to try your hand at fire starting with a rock or a stick.
Time to loot every dollar store in your neighborhood..heh.
I also think you need to create a gang of your own. Your friends, your family, your neighbours...only people you can stand to be in the same room with of course. Don't invite your psycho, religious nut neighbour for example. They will be sacrificing animals in the basement before you can blink.
You may need to create a quick and dirty entrance quiz before letting anyone in. Top of the list of questions should be "are you now or have you ever been a religious freak that believes in the book of revelations?" You really have to exclude them because if you are stuck in the basement shelter for days at a time they will drive you insane and force you to commit violent acts and that's just not the way to start the end of the world as you know it. It will depress you and you really don't need to be more depressed than you already are right?
You should try to make your group diverse and interesting. You are going to have long periods of incredible boredom and at least you will be surrounded by interesting people. Maybe you'll learn something new!
That brings me to another important issue. Your new gang should have some skills. You need farmers, carpenters,plumbers and electricians. Having a few trained medics would come in handy too. You also need some children in the mix. Everyone needs motivation and there is nothing more motivating than a large group of ten year old boys ripped from their Xbox. Maybe eleven year old girls torn from instant messenger and their FaceBook pages?
What you do not need in your group are people with no discernible skills. Having a professor of philosophy is not going to make anyone happy.
You need people to help build and maintain a home, people that can grow food and people that can provide medical care when someone electrocutes someone else.You could probably use a good english teacher with a history of directing high school plays just to keep the children from beating each other to death like the savages they are.
You also need a computer expert, someone who can maintain communication through the web because the web contains all the instructions needed to build a self sustaining community. Where else will you find the plans on how to build your own solar cells, your own wind turbines?
You need someone to find the information, interpret the information and help create the plans so our other experts can build them.
So you need at least one creative, maybe slightly strange , hell probably strange as hell thinker.Two would be better so they have someone to talk to.

An important tip to remember is to limit the issues of weird romantic relationships. Or ex relationships. Make sure you haven't invited a group of people who unbeknownst to you have all slept together in multiple configurations and all have bitter feelings about it.
You are trying to survive here, it's no time for couples therapy.

So I guess you have to create a group of people that like each other and want to work together to survive. You are going to have to be very,very lucky to find these people. It may take some time.
You are going to have to be logical in the face of chaos, confident in the face of I don't think I am going to be cut out for this survival thing.

To have to become a thief in the night stealing constantly seems exhausting and terrifying.

Maybe becoming a sheep wouldn't be such a bad thing?
The problem is don't people eat sheep?

I really, really hope our intrepid lab rat George gets himself together, puts the bottle down and finds a new girlfriend quickly...he could save the world.


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