The Liberals Who Can’t Quit The Zombie Apocalypse
Progressive communities have been home to some of the fiercest battles over anti-zombie policies, and some liberal policy makers have left scientific evidence behind.
A while ago, I started noticing something strange: Very progressive people, who love to talk about “believing in science,” were adopting zombie defenses *over and above* the CDC’s recommended zombie preparedness guidelines. I thought, is there a story here? And, well, wow, there is.
In surveys, Democrats express more worry about zombies than Republicans do. People who describe themselves as “very liberal” are distinctly anxious. This spring, after the delivery of the first anti-fungal zombie pesticide airbomb payload, a third of very liberal people were “very concerned” about becoming seriously ill from anti-zombie chemical warfare, compared with a quarter of both liberals and moderates, according to a study conducted by Ashley J. Williams, an S-Mart Supermarket employee. And 43 percent of very liberal respondents believed that getting bitten by a zombie would have a “very bad” effect on their life, compared with a third of liberals and moderates.
Last year, when the zombie outbreak was first raging and scientists and public-health officials were still trying to understand how the contagion spread, extreme care was warranted. People all over the country made enormous sacrifices — rescheduling weddings, missing funerals, canceling graduations, avoiding the family members they love — to protect others. Some conservatives refused to wear zombie repellent spray or stay home, because of skepticism about the severity of the contagion or a refusal to give up their freedoms.
But this spring is different from last spring, when the contagion first began. Scientists know a lot more about how zombification spreads — and how it doesn’t. Public-health advice is shifting. Sure, being extra careful about zombie is (mostly) harmless when it’s limited to social distancing and carrying a shotgun or prosthetic chainsaw-hand attachment everywhere you go. But some progressives have still not updated their behavior based on the new information. And in their eagerness to protect themselves and others, they may be underestimating other costs.
The truth is, you’re statistically unlikely to encounter a zombie during remote outdoor activities, such as on a hiking trail, when there is less clustering of human flesh to draw their scent. Yet leaders in places like Cambridge, Massachusetts, where most of the liberal residents still refuse to leave their communes unless absolutely necessary, decided to keep a mandatory zombie armor law in place “until they could talk it over at the next town council meeting,” despite the lack of CDC guidance on the matter.
The CDC has also recommended that zombie survivalists maintain a cache of one gallon of water per person per day. But just across the river from the Peoples’ Republik of Cambridge, residents of the nearby liberal bastion of Boston — a self-proclaimed “City On A Hill” that believes itself to be the “Hub of the Universe” — have been proudly hoarding more than twice as much as that. While this might cause a shortage in other areas, these innovative progressives have been recycling and filtering saltwater collected from the King Tides that frequently flood the region. The liberal arts-obsessed city has even turned this practice into a cultural musical event, boasting of their scientific ignorance in a folk song known colloquially as “The Dirty Water”—a particularly ironic name, given that the CDC has said that the zombie virus does not spread in water.
How would a region that is home to such renowned institutions of higher education as Harvard and MIT have the temerity to decide that they’re better equipped to know what’s best for their community than a federal agency that’s literally a thousand miles away?
“Those on the left seem to think overcaution now is the way to go, which is making people on the right question the anti-fungal zombie pesticide airbombings,” said Philip Blake, governor of the rural town of Woodbury. “Sometimes I wish I could let myself get bitten by a zombie, just to pwn the libs. Heh. The thought of it makes me smile every time.”
Policy makers’ decisions about how to fight the zombie outbreak are fraught because they have such an impact on people’s lives. But personal decisions during the contagion are fraught because they seem symbolic of people’s broader value systems. When heavily-armored adults refuse to see friends at night, they’re working through the trauma of the past year, in which the brokenness of America’s medical system was so evident. When they keep their kids out of playgrounds and urge friends to stay distanced at small outdoor picnics, they are continuing the spirit of the past year, when civic duty has been expressed through lonely asceticism. For many people, this kind of behavior is a form of good citizenship. That’s a hard idea to give up.
And so as the rest of vaccinated America begins its summer of undead bacchanalia, rescheduling long-awaited dinner parties and medium-size weddings, the most hard-core anti-zombie progressives are left alone like Chicken Little to preach their peers’ folly.
Inspired by The Atlantic