Good morning all. Things have been a little crazy around here, the end of the basketball season, karate classes, and doctor’s appointments. So, again, I apologize for the delay. Today I’m going to talk today about protecting yourself from accidental exposure to the zombie virus.
We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows where our hero is running around with a baseball bat or chain saw, mowing through a hoard of undead. When he/ she is finished, the blood and guts of the recently re-deceased is dripping from the bat/ chainsaw, our hero, their clothes, the walls, pooling on the floor… You get the picture. Remember a couple of weeks ago on The Walking Dead when Daryl 9 ironed the zombies brains all over Beth’s white cardigan? That sent a shiver down the spine of this nurse.
I have to stop and point out that in my world the zombie plague is caused by some form of infectious disease; most likely a virus, bacteria, or even prion of some kind. I also am going on the premise that the plague is NOT airborne. I don’t believe the human race could survive in a world where the zombie plague is as contagious as the flu or common cold. So, we won’t deal with that possibility.
So, the dead are stumbling around your neighborhood. Obviously, you don’t want them there. You live near a school, and there may be kids playing. They need to go away. So, you grab your trusty bat and go out to smash some heads. But wait, what are the risks? Even if you don’t get bit, you can get exposed. But, how?
Well, let’s look at how you won’t get exposed. You won’t get exposed just from getting it on your skin. Skin is made for just that reason. It keeps the bad stuff out, and the good stuff in. So, just getting zombie guts on your skin will not cause you to turn into a raging, brain eating zombie. That is, if your skin is intact.
Take a moment to take a look at your hands and arms. Aside from your head, these parts tend to be exposed to the environment far more than the rest of your body. Look at how many places are a little red, maybe a scratch or hangnail. Unfortunately, I live with a few cuts, scrapes, and abrasions on my hands and arms all the time. I have kids and animals. There’s always something scratching me. So, l my skin is by no means a 100% effective barrier to the zombie virus.
Two weeks into the zompocalypse; running through the woods, over hill and dale, and my skin is going to be even worse. Ladies think about your hands and face when you don’t get to moisturize for two weeks.
Aside from breaks in the skin, how else can a virus enter the system? Mucous membranes! That’s how. But, where are mucous membranes you might ask? That’s an excellent question. Well, you know there are mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses. But, those are protected from the outside world by the outside of your nose. They’re nicely trucked up and hidden away.
But, they are not the only places in your body that can absorb something into the blood stream. Your eyes and mouth are probably your most vulnerable areas. Anyone who knows a heart patient knows they put a Nitro tablet under their tongue and it absorbs into the system. It’s the same with a germ if it is small enough. (Viruses and prions are extremely small. Bacteria are relatively large in comparison.)
There are also several other places where our zombie plague can invade the body. You would think that the stomach would be an easy route of infection. While I am absolutely NOT condoning the eating of zombie flesh, the GI tract is pretty tuff. Most of your immune system surrounds the GI tract. Like I said, I wouldn’t eat zombie meat.
Then there is the back end of the GI tract. That’s right boys and girls. I’m talking about your bum. The human colon is designed to reabsorb water back into the system. I won’t get into the specifics of how one may become exposed through their backside. Let’s just say don’t sit down on a dead zombie’s body.
There is also the reproductive system. No! Don’t do it! ‘Nough said!
So, how do you deal with the risks? It’s hard enough to spend your time running from zombies. What do you do when you are forced to turn and fight? You have to protect those areas we just discussed.
1. Get some gloves. You don’t need to have hospital grade sterile gloves. A good pair of household cleaning gloves will work great. They’re tough and you can wash and reuse them. I would raid your cleaning cabinet before dealing with the zombie threat.
2. Goggles. You can get any kind of goggle you want. You’re worried about splashed fluid, not submerging into a pool of goo.
3. Get a MASK! Do not use your shirt tied around your face. Get something that is not going to let the zombie’s gooey middle parts soak through and get in your mouth. If you are one of those who has trouble with allergies when you mow your yard and use a yard particulate mask then you have what you need. If you don’t, go to your local ER during flu season with the sniffles. They’ll shove you in a mask so fast your head will spin.
4. If you can get hold of some water resistant outer garments you should wear them whenever you are going to deal with the undead.
Basically, turn on the Discovery Channel or Discovery Heath and watch one of those ER shows. What you see them wearing when they have a gunshot wound or stabbing victim, is what you should strive for if you are going to be in close contact to the infected.
Good luck, and just look at the flowers.
About the author:
Glyn Gardner served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. He is the author of the zombie novel Apex. Keep up with his blog at:
And purchase Apex on Amazon: