When the world and South Africa, shortly after, went into lockdown in our efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, I got an all too familiar sense that I’d lived through this before.
Then it hit me. This post-apocalyptic landscape seen in the barrage of images flooding news wires and social media wasn’t déjà vu at all … it was how almost every opening scene from almost every zombie movie begins.
You know the one I mean: a usually bustling city is completely deserted except for yourself and a lonely silhouette in the distance. Desperate for answers, you run up to the figure, only to be greeted by the putrid stench of rotting flesh and hostility.
In a recent op-ed, Daniel W Drezner, author of the critically acclaimed international relations textbook, Theories of International Politics and Zombies, says: “The zombie genre can explain more about the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic than anyone should be comfortable with.”
Drezner’s reasoning is that of all the baddies in the horror genre, zombies are the perfect metaphor for a pandemic. However, it is never about the zombies and their blind need to replicate but more about how humans respond to that threat.
So, how do the humans who don’t become chum for chums actually survive? I’d like to think it’s through the practical tips provided in the hilariously offbeat and gory movies Zombieland I and II.
But because there are so many tips created by Columbus, the protagonist from Zombieland, played by Jessie Eisenberg, we whittle it down to the seven we think will count:
To escape any pursuing and ravenous zombie, you will need to outrun it, and this means being in good shape.
2. Double tap
Most zombies won’t die from just one bullet unless it’s a shot to the head. So, when in doubt, don’t get stingy with your bullets.
3. Travel light
While trying to get away from a mass of zombies, the last thing you want is to be heaving lots of luggage around.
4. Don’t be a hero
Possibly the most important rule of all. Don’t risk your own life just to make yourself look good.
5. The buddy system
You can’t always look in front of you and behind you at the same time. Find a reliable crew of humans you know will have your back.
6. Check the back seat
Of course, you’ll have your choice of cars. But, before getting into the car and driving off, always check the back seat for any hiding zombies.
7. Enjoy the little things
Speak to anyone under lockdown and they’ll tell you how mundane isolation becomes. That is why you’ll need to maintain a happy and sane state of mind by keeping positive and finding different ways of entertaining yourself.
Remember, entertainment is everything. But don’t scare survivors like Bill Murry’s character did in Zombieland I and end up getting shot in the chest.
One way to keep from getting your face blown off and staying entertained is to add the Zombieland movies to your streaming menu.