Wednesday’s Child: Resilient Roni

sneeze
As our staff is stricken with “could be,” “maybe,” I’m not sure,” I don’t wanna say” it’s a cold or the flu, we take time to reflect on the experience of running a facility where none of the children can catch or spread respiratory infections. According to the CDC, “nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold.” These school days aren’t just felt by the children, often times it’s the parents and teachers that feel the impact of these walking-talking-contagious kids. Days like today help us recognize that we’re fortunate to work with children who can only spread one type of virus.
Even so, zombies are vulnerable to certain ailments, most noticeably those that arise from their state of chronic decomposition. Roni, a bubbly fifteen year old with hair like Raggedy Annie, is the zombie child most afflicted with this.
Redhaired annies aka Raggedy Ann

Redhaired annies aka Raggedy Ann (Photo credit: almost witty)

Prior to her arrival at our facility, she spent at least a month wandering the back roads and woods of Maine. We can’t be certain, but we believe she was dropped off in the woods when her parents could no longer take care of her. We base this on the fact that no other zombies were found with her and normally as new zombies are infected they link up with the nearest group. Additionally, there were no zombie outbreaks reported in the county she was found in, making it likely she was transported from another area.
By the time she was found and transferred here, she had been wandering the woods for several months. Her hair was matted and thick with leaves and dirt. Her skin was covered with tears and cuts from the underbrush. Porcupine quills dotted her legs and several of her toes were missing. After a thorough washing and disinfection, our team of plastic surgeons went to work, suturing her lacerations, attaching toes, and tightening loosened and sagging skin. When they were done, she wasn’t the prettiest zombie in the room, but she had the biggest smile.
Our greatest concern, once the surgeons were done with her, was that she wouldn’t integrate with the other children as she had spent her entire zombie life alone. Zombies that are used to a pack, for lack of a better word, adjust easily to our facility and tend to follow along in activities and mimic the behavior of the others. Without any socialization, we feared Roni would fear the other children. Surprisingly, the first day we held her in isolation, she spent the day trying to walk through the fencing and join the other children. After a number of attempts, she gave up and stood at the fence, one hand clutching the cold metal, and moaned in harmony with the other kids. The second day, we allowed her to interact with two children while five of our staff members stood by, ready to intervene if necessary. Our worries were groundless. She had no hesitation in joining the group and spent the rest of the day happily following along. By the third day, we’d moved her into our least restrictive environment where she has remained to this day.
In spite of her massive reconstructive surgery and the almost weekly repairs that must be made to her skin, Roni remains pleasant and unafraid of our surgeons, seamstresses, and other staff members. Like the Energizer bunny, she continues to bounce back.
Zombies Invade San Francisco!

Zombies Invade San Francisco! (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

And, to give you an idea of what our work is like, in a normal residential children’s facility, one would spend this time of year looking for lost mittens and misplaced boots. We spend our time looking for missing fingers and misplaced toes. Keeping Roni intact is a big job, but we are up to the challenge.

Remember, we feed the zombies so you don’t have to.

Zombie Emergency Relief Organization

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Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here at the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization we are committed to supporting orphaned zombie children in a caring, contained environment, making the world a little safer for both our charges and the general public. Unfortunately, much as the United States was caught flat-footed during the Mini Zombie Apocalypse of 2010, we worry that another, larger Zombie Apocalypse will someday emerge and threaten life as we know it. Rather than sticking our heads in the proverbial sand, we encourage people to remain vigilant and proactive in preparing for a worst case scenario in which the zombie virus becomes airborne, thereby increasing it’s transmit-ability.

A quick lesson in the chain of disease transmission will explain why this would be very, very bad.

chain disease

An infectious agent, in this case the zombie virus, exists in a reservoir which is the fancy name for where the infectious agent normally lives, grows, and multiplies. The reservoir for the zombie virus is zombies.  When the virus enters a human, there is a brief period between being bit,  becoming infectious, and turning into a zombie.  Zombies are chronic carriers of the virus, meaning as long as they can interact with humans, they can pass along the virus.

A portal of exit is how the virus leaves the zombie host. Currently the virus is carried in the saliva. This limits it’s passage from zombie to human as it is relatively easy to protect oneself against saliva.

The virus passes from zombie to human (mode of transmission) when zombie teeth, covered with infectious saliva, penetrate a human’s skin and deposit the infectious saliva into the human’s body. This, also known as direct contact, makes it easier to stop the spread of disease because only people in the zombie’s physical presence are at risk of being bit and catching the disease.

Portal of entry is the way the infectious agent enters the host. Zombie infection is caused by a bite. Breaking of the skin with teeth introduces the agent.

Susceptible host includes all humans as we have no natural immunity or vaccination against the zombie virus. Once bit, a normal human is infected 100% of the time.

In order to stop the spread of a disease, one of the links in the chain of disease transmission must be broken. Infections spread through direct contact are easy to stop with common sense.  As with rabies, keeping the infected far enough away to prevent bites will stop transmission.

rabies

If the zombie virus should mutate and become airborne, stopping it becomes more difficult. Viruses carried by the airborne route follow wind currents and can be sucked into heating and air conditioning vents, leading to disease transmission to individuals both in physical proximity to the host and individuals not in physical contact with the host. A  zombie sneeze, cough or moan in a building can lead to this:

welty ppp  infectious travel in buildings px-resized-600.jpg

Airborne transmission would be catastrophic.

In the interests of our reader’s safety, we’d like to recommend the following blogs which may provide information that will save your life in the event of a full-blown, airborne transmission mode of the zombie virus. There is no need to panic, but prudent planning is advisable.

Zombease bills itself as the myth, mysteries, and guide to living with the undead. From helping you assemble the proper medical supplies,  DIY or die trying tips on fortifying your safe house, and getting the most out of your weaponry, Zombease is a practical guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse. 32 uses for trash bags is a must read.

http://zombease.com/

Gracious Living in a Zombie World: The Ladies Zombie handbook reminds us that even in the face of barbarity, etiquette is important. Their four-part series on the Lil Miss Virginia Territory Pageant, a high glitz beauty contest, shows how creativity and passion persist, even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.

http://theladieszombiehandbook.com/

If there are other preparedness websites you’ve found helpful, please tell us in the comments.

Remember, we feed the zombies so you won’t have to.

Zombie Emergency Relief Organization