Want to know how well the United States will deal with Bird Flu? Small Pox? A dirty nuke?
Watch a zombie movie. Watch Dawn Of The Dead. Day Of The Dead. Return Of The Living Dead. Or better yet, the recent 28 Weeks Later. These are not horror movies, these are testimonies to our state of preparedness when disaster strikes.
While we don't always know how zombies come alive, we know how they spread. From a virus. A fast spreading virus. An epidemic of epic proportions. Yes, we have had 9/11 and as a result we have created Homeland Security to deal with worst case scenarios. And that's supposed to help us sleep better at night, but watch 28 Weeks Later and see just how far we have our thumbs up our asses when the shit hits the fan. A woman that is a known carrier of the Rage virus is left unguarded for her husband to come in, kiss her on the lips and become infected. When the military knows there is an outbreak, they shut the electricity off, making it nearly impossible to tell the difference between the innocent and those infected. In Day Of The Dead the military is left in charge and quickly eases into the role of dictator. Suddenly, any kind of civility is thrown out the window and most of them don't hesitate to threaten death with no thought towards the already dwindling population.
The ultimate message of every zombie movie is that we should be just as scared of ourselves as we are of the monsters. That message if none more clear than in Night Of The Living Dead as locals take great delight in re-killing the undead. In Return Of The Living Dead, a military general does not debate the casualties of a missile taking out a large part of town in order to get rid of a few zombies. In 28 Weeks Later, lives are compromised as London is carpet-bombed only moments after an outbreak of the Rage virus. When disaster breaks, we are motivated by testosterone and not brain cells. Judgement looses and fear wins. Thinkers are soon enough put down and it's the shoot first and ask questions later guys that live to tell the tale. And suddenly, our advanced society doesn't seem so advanced anymore. And that's when the line between living and undead starts to get pretty fuzzy.
The truth is, we can try to think about the unthinkable all we want. To hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. But when trouble hits, we are simply unprepared because we have not accounted for the scariest part of any scenario. Ourselves.