Nope, the Coronavirus doesn’t have anything to do with zombies, but it’s a damn good case study to see how fast such an infection can spread.
What is the coronavirus?
Well, it’s actually been around since the 1960’s (oh, and it has nothing to do with beer). According to the Pediatric Infections Disease Journal;
Human coronaviruses, first characterized in the 1960s, are responsible for a substantial proportion of upper respiratory tract infections in children. Since 2003, at least 5 new human coronaviruses have been identified, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which caused significant morbidity and mortality. NL63, representing a group of newly identified group I coronaviruses that includes NL and the New Haven coronavirus, has been identified worldwide. These viruses are associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract disease and are likely common human pathogens. The global distribution of a newly identified group II coronavirus, HKU1, has not yet been established. Coronavirology has advanced significantly in the past few years. The SARS epidemic put the animal coronaviruses in the spotlight.
Yep, the Bird Flu (SARS) from 2003 is a type of coronavirus, but why is the one from now, 2019 – 2020, a good case study for zombies?
Let’s look at this from another point of view, as IF it was a zombie virus.
As best we know, this sucker took hold on or around late December of 2019 (although I did see a source that cited that China knew about it more towards the beginning of December). Mapping of the spread of the virus started around January 19th, 2020. At that time, in Mainland China, 278 cases of infected were confirmed. In other areas of the world there are 4 confirmed cases.
By the next day, January 20th, 326 cases were confirmed in China. 48 new cases in 24 hours. In other parts of the world, 6.
24 hours later, January 21st, China moves up to 547 confirmed cases, 8 in other parts of the world.
January 22nd sees China increase to 639, and other areas of the world move up to 14.
January 23rd China moves up to 916 confirmed cases of infected, the rest of the world increases to 25.
January 24th China moves dramatically up to just over 2,000. The rest of the world moves up to 40.
January 25th China sees 2,700, the rest of the world 57.
January 26th China sees 4,400, the rest of the world 64.
January 27th China sees 6,021, the rest of the world 87.
At the time of writing this article, January 29th, worldwide we see a total confirmed infection count of 6,172. In the span of 9 days we went from 282 confirmed cases to over 6k! That’s an insane rate of infection spread! However, focus on these past three days and compare them to the increase between the 25th and 26th.
On the 25th we saw 2757 cases, on the 26th 4464. That’s a significant increase, however, from the 27th (6108) to today (6165), 3 days later, that increase has dramatically fallen off (unless the reported numbers have simply not been updated – I am taking a major assumption here that they have been updated).
We can see a major jump in infection spread on the 23rd to the 24th, 5 days in where it goes from 900 to over 2,000!
Case Study from this applied to a zombie virus tells us that about 5 days in, we would see a radical spread of folks turning into walkers! I think it might be safe to assume that the spread of the zombie virus might happen a bit more quickly, but that too might be determined by the type of zombie, fast (like 2002’s 28 Days Later), or slow (like The Walking Dead or Night of the Living Dead). Then again, one has to assume too that the living can spread the infection perhaps even faster than the dead; but combine those numbers together and… oh boy.
You can see the map as it updates here: Coronavirus Map
One thing is for sure, our future (as a planet) will be changed in a drastic way. I can foresee business closing, layoffs happening, and just how everyone conducts their day to day lives being altered. Try to remember what you were doing at Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2019. It may very well be a long time before the world gets back to that kind of normal.