If you are anything like me you have spent many a good while dumping pondering on the real questions of life. One question that has come back to me time and time again has always been the likelihood of survival from Zombie attack.
Many nights have been spent around my couch discussing that same question with my friends... the hopelessness of the presented scenario hanging as low in the room as the dank cannabis smoke that begot it.
Finally a group of mathletes from the Great White North have put grey matter to a problem for too long left to potheads to sort out and plan for and have worked out a formula (as well as a computer model to sort it all out) to give humanity a chance.
According to their big brains, by taking the number of susceptible (noted as "S")and the number of infected (noted as "Z"), making sure to note the number of infected and susceptible (noted as "R") already killed off by the infection and doing something mathematical with said numbers (if you can make out the formula provided more power to ya... Sadly, I used my math book for rolling paper more often than I did for homework). So using this formula, just how long would humanity have if being plagued by a zombie virus?
According to the numbers, should a zombie outbreak strike a city with a population of roughly five hundred thousand, it would take three days for the zombies to outnumber the remaining human survivors, with the chances for total infection advancing exponentially once that high water mark is reached.
"If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead," write the authors of the study which looked to chart the spread of infectious diseases (including zombie viruses). "This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert."
But there is a silver lining to the dark ominous cloud of zombification looming in our horizon. While knowing just how long we would have to survive, we also know just how to combat the infection. While taking into account several different reaction scenarios (such as quarantine, treatment, and co-habitation), only one possible solution seems to work every time when combating the spread of a zombie virus... impulsive eradication.
That's right... no living with it... no trying to understand why it is happening. Only good ol' fashioned shotgun in one hand, baseball bat in the other zombie smashing time can be turned to in humanity's precious time of need.
Of course the authors of the study would like to stress that while the zombie scenario was done more for entertainment than out of paranoia, they do point out that it does hold some practical applications- being that whether spawned by a descending meteor or through ancient voodoo ritual, once spawned the zombie virus would spread much like any other type of biological attack thus the spread of the most other epidemics would follow along the same pattern (of course, treatment may be part of the plan during the early stages in other epidemic scenarios unlike with zombies where the torches and pitchforks get brought out early). But that is not what matters.
What matters is that finally science has proved what stoners have known for a while now... should the flesh eating undead take to the streets, we are fucked.