Presently, this is science fiction although the presence of flesh-eating bacteria and the media flood regarding avian flu and mad cow disease has brought paranoia with companies issuing hand sanitizer and disposable sanitizing towels. But things have settled down tremendously since then.
History has already shown us what happens when a pandemic outbreak occurs within the human population. But those were earlier times and things have changed tremendously. We have better medical facilities and equipment and protocols are in place at hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control responds in their “timely” manner.
The Walking Dead television series has shown how society adapts to a zombie virus — the good, the bad and the in-between. The competition for resources such as food and water often lead to disastrous results. The Governor and the Wolves are prime examples of greed and self-interest dominating over human empathy.
Transforming Science Fiction into Science Fact
All it takes is one mutation of a rabies virus to transform from science fiction to science fact. The zombie virus can evolve naturally — or rushed along by man as the Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil movies. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the latter. With the worldwide economy in an unstable state, all a zombie pandemic takes is one disgruntled scientist one step from downsizing or a greedy CEO of a science company attempting to boost the company’s stock to the shareholders to turn the world sour in a mere instant.
In a society on the downward spiral, society will ultimately fracture. Some will resort to spirituality and such to hold society together in its waning days. Others will resort to more primal means of “might means right” and steal and loot their way to survival. Some will be the lone wolf, like Jim in 28 Days Later, and pick up people along his journey; There will be cells of communities everywhere with different ideas in the means of survival and treatment of other humans, whether infected or not. Depending on the length of the pandemic and the devastation it causes, the cells may dwindle to a few, and humanity will be even fewer in number.
Social Impact Afterward
With society in recovery, will caste systems exist? Will hierarchy be a necessity like nowadays? Those are questions to ponder. For those on the optimistic end, society will be a commune where every body has a say. The Second Coming will bring the world together. However, those on the pessimistic and decisively realistic end, racism, sexism and hatred will revive itself in full force, and history will repeat itself once again until the next apocalypse. Unlike nowadays, where such isms are masked in bureaucracy and feigned political correctness, society will resort once again to blatant hatred. How times change, how times remain the same.
Whether the mutation is naturally occurring or not, the Centers for Disease Control and worldwide centers will be attempting to develop a cure. However, with restriction on time and sudden upsurge in use of resources, these centers may encounter some difficulties. Furthermore, there will be significant drain on available doctors and scientists as they will be employed in hospitals worldwide as the pandemic spreads. Sanitizers will be deemed useless in the overall picture.
Scientific Impact Afterward
In an ideal world, these centers will employ health protocols to prevent and contain the outbreak from ever happening again. But will there be enough people, even those in healthcare and science fields left, to deploy such a strategy? Fringe Fiction does not believe that is the case. Small bergs of scientists will gather eventually to prevent the problem, but they may resolve the problem locally within the areas they have gathered rather than globally. These bergs will be precious commodities in a society trying to rebuild itself from a worldwide pandemic. Some parts of humanity will find these bergs in disdain and attempt to destroy these. Ultimately, these bergs will have developments that will have ripple effects throughout society — that is, trickle-down scientific endeavors.
Religion, whether Christianity, Muslim or whatever religion, will still exist and be used as a source of hope for some. Hope will help build some communities as the pandemic spreads. Fringe Fiction believes there may be a transformation into a global religion or spiritualism. Even splinter religions such as Gnosticism may gain popularity once again in a devastated world.
Religious Impact Afterward
Communities will still exist where religion proliferated. In a broken world, however, those with extreme notions of the religion may create their own rebellion and it will be bloody. Those on the moderate side will fight for survival and ultimately should prevail in the long run. In the short term, however, it will be the Wild West for religions and religious communities everywhere while society recovers.
With society in disorder, money as an entity will mean nothing. However, bartering may become extremely favorable as a means of trade between person to person, group to group. A more primal resort would be to slaughter and take wholesale. Those with the weapons and the tools for primacy will do so with efficiency and take goods as necessary. Currency will have no value in a broken society.
Economic Impact Afterward
People will resort to bartering as the preferred method of obtaining goods and supplies. Slowly, once people begin developing jobs, particularly farming jobs, currency will find a way back into human society as most people will need to find a standard that they can depend on. In fact, there may develop a global currency, a universal dollar so to speak. That wouldn’t be out of the question, but it would lead to intriguing financial outcomes down the road.
Governments would fall soon after the zombie virus pandemic occurs. True, some political leaders will be able to hide in their shelters and possibly give national mandates. High-ranking politicians will at some point be negligible as a source of leadership, national or otherwise. And at that point, national governments will transition to city-states, and at some point, it will be communes.
Political Impact Afterward
As society rebuilds, local communities will rebuild themselves quickly and quite possibly recreate city-states. Again, Fringe Fiction does not see national government as a priority in light of the global devastation. How many people would put faith in the national government after seeing the government’s response? Fringe Fiction does not see that happening. Eventually, in due time, perhaps, there will be a national government or even a global one, but it is not a necessity.
Where do you see the world going after the zombie virus devastation?