We’d all like to think that we’re warriors. That we’d be the last to go down if the end of the world came to pass—like we’d never end up as buggered as that group of kids in The Lord of the Flies. The hard truth is that we’re a pampered bunch. Most of us would have a flat out panic attack if someone so much as swiped our phone for a couple of hours, never mind if we had to figure out what to do without hot water. Or coffee. Or Tylenol.
Of course, the end of the world could come about in a bevy of different ways, from natural disasters and epidemics all the way to manmade stupidity to the most unlikely of all—a zombie attack. Being prepared for all of these possibilities is near impossible, and while we may think that our charisma and sense of practical knowledge is enough to help us make it to the final showdown, the chances are, in actuality, pretty slim. Whether it’s because we’re lazy, or spoiled, or just simply too fast to outrun an extremely motivated zombie, that fact is that an apocalypse would probably cull the earth’s population pretty quickly—here are some of the reasons why.
10. Poor Planning
When is the last time you enacted an emergency plan? Do you have any evacuation ideas? Where would you go if you had to find a safe haven (and fast)? On that note, when is the last time that you organized your bathroom cabinets? Or your fridge? The next time you credit your lack of togetherness as a human being to being too busy (or whatever other deadbeat excuse you can manage to cook up), remember that when the apocalypse comes, your lack of an exit/survival strategy will probably result in you being dead. Like, immediately.
If you had to leave your house in about five minutes in order to escape the city before they blew up the bridge or had to flee into the forest to get away from pillagers looking to capitalize on your stocked pantry (because you should have lots of food stored up, and you should know what a pantry is), what would you take? Your phone, probably. Your computer? Most likely. Maybe some family heirlooms. And mascara, just in case. You might even consider deodorant. You’d stuff all of your precious belongings into a backpack (which would be the most valuable item out of all the things you thought were important). All of these things would be heavy, and stupid. You wouldn’t even be able to barter with them after the electricity goes out. Making your stock of precious goods useless—leaving you hungry, tired and um…dead.
Every zombie movie ever is flush with guns. Guns kill zombies. Guns can also kill people. Which equals protection, right? Wrong. The problem is that not many of us know how to use a gun properly, nor do we know what safety precautions to take. We’d end up shooting ourselves by accident, or providing robbers with a tool by which to murder us with. Guns, without silencers (obviously), are also incredibly loud—possibly drawing unwanted attention to you. Whether that noise attracts zombies, or other humans that will undoubtedly steal your stuff (and the guns that you don’t know how to use), you’re pretty much up s@# creek if you’re toting a firearm.
7. Eating Habits
Allergies aside, most of us have no idea how to kill and skin an animal and most of us don’t have the heart to do it. We also probably don’t know much about which mushrooms are good to eat in the wild and which ones are poisonous. While we might have even figured out what belladonna is from watching the Harry Potter movies, we probably don’t know what it looks like. Chances are that you’ve resorted to eating ferns at this point and are slowly starving to death.)
Imagine that, in the heat of a necessary evacuation, having to leave your dog behind? Or having to resort to eating your cat? In reality, the majority of us would probably try to bring our furry friends along, on an adventure which would not resemble anything to do with the movie I Am Legend. While the dog might save your life from a fellow human, he also might be the reason you get side tracked in a fight for your life. Or imagine trying to tote around your beloved pet parrot, would you trust him/her not to scream when you are hiding?
(This one just mostly applies to zombie attacks.) Here’s the truth. We’ve got some bad news for city folk—most of you don’t stand any chance of survival if you’re a city dweller. And if you live in the country, you might survive stand a chance, but that’s only if you’ve got stamina. City environments are flush with people—whether that increases the chances of you getting sick in the case of an epidemic, or just ups the likelihood of you getting robbed while trying to escape the city (in a car, most likely, which wouldn’t get you far given the amount of people who would leave vehicles in the middle of the road, creating road blocks). In the country, getting to a safe haven would be difficult given the distance between you and everything else. If you stock up on fuel, or are a long-distance runner/biker, you might be fine, though. Given that the world isn’t ending because of a zombie attack.
Unfortunately, people with food allergies (which is about 15 million people give or take) would be the first to go. The end of the world doesn’t have time for gluten allergies, lactose intolerance or deadly nut allergies. Given the shortage of food in a probable end of the world situation, starvation would be a serious issue. Never mind seasonal allergies that would leave people crippled and at half-mast if they couldn’t get their hands on some Benadryl.
3. A Rapid Decrease in Mental Health
The thing about an apocalypse is that things get pretty hairy, and fast. People get hurt, and inevitably die. Whether the world comes crashing down because of an epidemic or because the ocean decides to up and swallow the earth, an apocalypse means that the people we love would get hurt. For many, this is enough to spurn on a full on breakdown. And don’t kid yourself with that, “I’m great in a bad situation” line. When the end of the world comes and your (insert precious family member here) gets eaten by a zombie or run down by motorist, you’re going to be rocking yourself to a better place in the corner just like everyone else.
2. Fitness Levels (or a Lack of Them)
Here are the facts. A little over 70% of Americans come in at overweight. Only about 15% of the population works out on semi-regular basis. While these facts are a little on the tragic side, it also translates to the majority of us not being able to hack it. Whether trying to outrun a rabid zombie or trying to beat your neighbour in a running sprint to the grocery store for the last bottle of water, chances are that most people would probably just die of exhaustion or panic attacks or whatever.
1. Because it’s the End of the World
If the world is going down, you’re going with it. Whether it’s now, or after you learn how to wield a machete and put those self-defence classes to good use, the end of world will probably be due to an epidemic, or a mass explosion, or everything sinking into the ocean (or zombies, but probably not really). While some people might be able to hold on for a little longer if they manage to find an isolated bunker located on a sustainable farm on a mountain with a freshwater lake with tons of gates and air filtration systems sustained by generators or solar power (in case the world is wiped out due to an airborne virus), chances are that you won’t make it. Hopefully you realize this and go down in a blaze of glory, rather than curling up in a ball in your grandmother’s basement crying your way into a non-existent tomorrow.