At World’s End: Surviving the Apocalypse the Canadian Way

In a world overrun by the living dead, there is still hope against a complete annihilation of mankind. That hope resides within the country of Canada. Once a zombie population begins to destroy mankind, people must act collectively in order to avert the oncoming apocalypse. The world of today is strongly rooted in an individualistic competitive mindset that will only serve to exacerbate a zombie pandemic unless handled in a proper fashion. Social institutions will disintegrate under the pressure of attempting to survive in a world being taken over by zombies as each person will begin to take matters into his or her own hands. Canadians will come together as a nation to eradicate any zombies within the country and to forestall the movement of zombies into the country from elsewhere. Canada will survive and conquer a zombie pandemic due to the country’s geography, demographics and by finally exerting its autonomy as an independent powerhouse united by national pride.

Canada’s geography has well-prepared the country for zombie attacks. Two important aspects to consider are the climate and the ability of Canadians to live in that climate. As a country situated in the North, Canada experiences seasonal fluctuations of temperature throughout the year. Canadian winters are characterized by below freezing minimum temperatures with the only exception being southern Vancouver Island’s coastal areas (Environment Canada, 2009). This defining feature of Canadian geography will benefit the country in eliminating a zombie threat as zombies will freeze in conditions that are zero degrees Celsius or lower. This is beneficial as the zombies will not be able to attack when they are frozen even though freezing does not kill them (Brooks, p 10-11). The freezing temperatures of Canada that occur in its winter months will effectively stall zombies from attacking human beings. This pause in the spreading pandemic will give the people of Canada the opportunity to extinguish the threat completely. Although the zombies will not be dead, Canadians will be able to use the winter months to seek out the frozen zombies and then destroy them properly. During the months which do not see freezing temperatures, the zombie pandemic will be able to spread; however, the Canadian weather patterns give the country and its people a gap in the pandemic that will allow for the effective eradication of zombies.

Another factor of Canada’s weather to take into consideration is that the people living in Canada know how to survive in below freezing temperatures. Canada is one of the more obvious choices for people to seek refuge from a zombie pandemic; however, people from farther south and warmer climates do not have as much knowledge about how to survive in the freezing conditions of Canada. Many of the people attempting to avoid the zombie apocalypse by coming to Canada will most likely perish as the result of an inability to understand, prepare for, and adapt to the environment if they somehow manage to cross the border and do not fall victim to the zombies in their attempts to get into Canada. In a similar fashion, zombies also cannot prepare for the weather of Canada. As Max Brooks states: “The mental capacity of the average zombie ranks somewhere beneath that of an insect. On no occasion have they shown any ability to reason or employ logic.” (2003, p. 14). Although zombies will not be hindered by human attributes such as maintaining body temperature and maintaining a pulse, their greatest weakness is their inability to use knowledge and intelligence. Since zombies cannot use rational thought, they will not take action to keep themselves from freezing during a Canadian winter even though it is an easily avoided event.

The location of the major cities in Canada and the United States provide another beneficial element to Canada’s ability to avoid a zombie pandemic. There are few major cities along the U.S/Canada border, meaning that there is also a lesser chance of a spreading pandemic. Large urban centers provide a heightened ability for infectious diseases to spread rapidly: “For many infectious diseases, transmission occurs mainly between people who are collocated (simultaneously in the same location), and spread is due mainly to people’s movement.” (Eubank et al., 2004, p. 181). Cities are the most hazardous areas as large populations of people over a small land area provide a greater potential for more people to fall victim to zombification. A zombie pandemic will spread at a fast pace since an infected human causes the human population to decrease while simultaneously causing the zombie population to increase. This process will also be amplified in an urban setting as there are large numbers of people and these people will, in turn, contribute towards the zombie population.

Another of Canada’s greatest characteristics for overcoming a zombie apocalypse is its demographics. Although Canada is an exceptionally large country, it is not heavily populated. Canada will have one of the slowest spread rates of a zombie pandemic because of its sparse population. In 2006, Canada’s population was 31, 612, 897 people which gave it a population density of three and a half people per square kilometre (Statistics Canada, 2008). Given that infections spread rapidly in high density areas and from the movement of people, Canada’s population density will be a beneficial factor in preventing the zombie apocalypse. The population is small for the country’s size and by keeping the pandemic in check, there is no need for the excessive movement of people. Due to Canada’s sparse population, the country will have a higher probability of forestalling the spread of a zombie pandemic. When this is coupled with Canada’s climate, the spread of the pandemic will not occur as rapidly as in other countries, which gives Canada the ability to prevent the apocalypse, instead of merely attempting to survive it. With slower spreading rates, Canada has more time to destroy any zombies within its borders. The slower rate of infection allows Canada to destroy any zombies that happen to be inside the country efficiently thereby also giving Canada the time to put into place prevention strategies as the country will not have to be using its resources on battling the pandemic within its own borders.

A primary concern for Canada is that it does share a border with the U.S which makes Canada susceptible to a zombie invasion coming from the U.S. The states located along the Canadian border primarily rank as the least population-dense states, with Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin ranking at thirty-six, forty-eight, forty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, twenty-seven and twenty-four, respectively, out of all of the American states (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Given that a zombie pandemic will spread rapidly in more densely-populated areas, Canada will have more time to prepare since the northern states are not as populated and, as such, will not become infected as quickly as large cities and heavily populated states. The spread of the pandemic will occur quickly in areas with large populations, meaning that various areas of concern for Canada are cities in the United States as both countries share the same continent. Similarly, the pandemic will spread quickly through Mexico and in the United States. Even though Canada is naturally equipped to survive a zombie apocalypse, it does not mean that it will, if proper action isn’t taken to keep the spread of zombies out of the country.

It is essential for Canada to be ready to take action once a zombie outbreak occurs anywhere. Max Brooks (2003) identifies four classes of outbreaks beginning with a class one outbreak of less than twenty zombies, a class two outbreak with twenty to one hundred zombies, a class three with thousands of zombies and a state of emergency, and a class four which is few human survivors living in a world overtaken by the undead (pp.23-25). By the time a class three is reached, Canada needs to have its preparations taken care of. A class one outbreak should be easily taken care of, but once it moves into a class two outbreak, preparations must begin in order to prevent the internal breakdown of the country that will occur if class three is reached. Since Canada has the benefit of its northern location and population, the pandemic will not be as hazardous to Canada as early on as in other countries. Therefore, while other countries will have already moved into class three outbreaks, Canada will still be able to put in place preventative measures against the pandemic moving into the country.

As Canada is a country that is naturally well-equipped to avoid a zombie apocalypse, more people will attempt to find safety within the country and, as such, they will become the biggest threat to Canada’s zombie-free health. Fortunately, Canada is only bordered with one other country: the United States of America. The shared border with the U.S. is approximated at eight thousand, nine hundred kilometres, which includes both land and bodies of water (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2010). Although this is a lengthy border, there are two avenues that can protect the border. First of all, Canada’s law enforcement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), will provide protection. Secondly, given that there are low populations near the Canadian border, Canada will have more time to structure a protective barrier along the border. At the outbreak of a zombie pandemic, it will be of primary concern to protect against it and will, therefore, cause the immediate building of a barrier. Even though the border is quite long, the urgency of the issue will ensure that the barrier is constructed quickly. It will occur quickly also because the barrier itself can be simply done as its primary purpose is to keep the zombies out and the lack of intellectual ability of zombies means that the barrier simply has to get in their way and withstand their strength.

The barrier is meant to keep the zombies out of Canada; however, the RCMP is needed to keep out the humans attempting to come into Canada. “The RCMP [is] responsible for securing the length of Canada’s border except for the Ports of Entry. Ports of Entry are the official customs check points that are used when crossing the border.” (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2010, Para. 4). In the event of a zombie pandemic, the borders will be closed to everyone, meaning that there will no longer be Ports of Entry until the pandemic has been extinguished. There will be too many people attempting to gain access to Canada since it will be the safest place to go and the large amounts of people will cause problems with processing as it would be slowed down in order to ensure that infected individuals were not getting into Canada.

Similarly, even with increased regulation, the chances of letting in someone who is infected are increased. The timeline created by Max Brooks (2003) varies between individuals by several hours, but the general timeline shows that it is not until about sixteen hours after becoming infected that a person goes into a coma (p. 3). Given this amount of time and the stress of attempting to process large amounts of people, keeping the borders open will only allow the pandemic to continue. Similarly, Canada will have to increase its security greatly in order to maintain the closed border. The country will be able to do this as the zombie pandemic will become the most important issue as it threatens every life on the planet and requires a complete focus on protecting the country and destroying all zombies.

By closing the border and increasing security, Canada may be seen negatively for not working to help everyone; however, Canada must exert it autonomy in this manner if there is to be any hope for humans to exist after the outbreak of zombie infections. It does mean that there are many people who will not survive as they cannot find the safety of Canada anywhere else. Mathematical research done by Munz, Hudea, Imad & Smith? show that any instance of a zombie outbreak will result in the entire population becoming infected and that the only way to prevent this is by killing the zombies (2009). Therefore, it is absolutely essential that all of the zombies are destroyed and that there are no new zombies entering the country. By keeping Canada zombie-free, it ensures that there will be people to keep mankind in existence as well as people to begin the process of killing the zombies that have taken over the rest of the world.

In order for Canada to be successful, the country must unite together as a single entity. This will be difficult to do for those with family or other personal connections in countries overtaken by zombies; however, it must be done if any humans are to survive at all. When faced with such a dangerous threat as zombies, the country will come together in order to battle the spread of infection. It must be acknowledged that not everyone can be saved as the infection will spread too rapidly and any action to prevent it has to be taken immediately. This is only possible if there is a definitive area, meaning that Canada cannot make any allowances for any person outside of its country at the time of the outbreak. Even though this also means that Canadian citizens cannot re-enter the country as they also pose a risk of bringing the infection into Canada, it must be done or else everyone will perish. Canada must be truly independent of all other countries, as there can be no contact with any of the other countries of the world if there is to be an effective prevention and eradication of the zombie infection.

Given that Canada has the ability to prevent the zombie apocalypse, it will become the only nation with human inhabitants and it will also become the only powerhouse to exist in the world. By uniting together within the country, the people in Canada have the ability to live through a zombie pandemic, but it is only possible by keeping the country unified and independent from all other countries. There is a national pride in being a Canadian; however, survival depends not only on that, but on the strength of the people in maintaining Canada. When the zombie outbreak occurs, even those without Canadian citizenship will be a part of the people within the country preventing the spread of the infection. People will want to maintain a safe place from the zombies and as such, Canada will remain secure as all of the people within its borders will want to live. Based on this most instinctive human desire, Canada and its inhabitants will be able to enforce making Canada completely independent from the rest of the world.

In the event of a zombie outbreak and the looming apocalypse, Canada has the ability to survive it and ensure that mankind will continue to exist. When apocalyptic disasters occur, the structures of society that are currently in place cannot be maintained. In the highly populated areas, the infection will spread quickly, giving those areas minimal chance for survival and in the fight to survive society as it is will disintegrate. In areas that are better adapted for survival, such as Canada, structures will also change as the policies in place will allow the infection to continue to spread. Since the Canadian landscape is the most beneficial in avoiding and preventing a zombie apocalypse, Canada must preserve itself. In order to preserve itself, Canada must close its borders and become completely independent of the rest of the world by keeping everyone out of Canada that was not within the country at the time of the outbreak. It is through the unification of the people inside of Canada during the zombie pandemic and an isolationist strategy by Canada that humans can and will overcome a zombie apocalypse.

Works Cited

Brooks, Max. (2003). The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. Three Rivers Press: New York.

Environment Canada. (2009). January mean daily minimum and maximum temperatures. Retrieved from http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/environment/climate/temperature/temp_wi  nter/1

Eubanks, S., Guclu, H., Kumar, V.S.A., Marathe, M.V., Srinivasan, A., Toroczkai, Z., & Wang, N. (2004). Modelling disease outbreaks in realistic urban social networks. Nature, 429, 180-184. DOI:10.1038/nature02541.

Munz, P., Hudea, I., Imad, J., & Smith?, R.J. (2009). When zombies attack!: Mathematical modelling of an outbreak of zombie infection. Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress, 133-150. ISBN 978-1-60741-347-9.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2010). Border Integrity. Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/bi-if/index-eng.htm

Statistics Canada. (2008). Population and dwelling counts for Canada, provinces and territories, 2006 and 2001 censuses – 100% data [Data file]. Retrieved from     http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/english/census06/data/popdwell/Table.cfm?T=101

U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Resident population data: Population density [Data file]. Retrieved from http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/apportionment-dens-text.php

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