If Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide is about the tactics of surviving an outbreak, this book provides the strategy, nay, philosophy of survival. It’s all about thinking: where are you now, where do you need to be and how do you get there? It’s about asking those questions at the appropriate time and being truly open to the correct answer.
While, surely, Mr. Gonzales did not have the undead in mind when he wrote this, his prescriptions are spot on. People failed to survive for 3 basic reasons:
- They were unable to re-configure their internal map.
- They were unable to understand where the real danger lay.
- They did not conserve their energy
I am not saying that accepting the existence of zombies is an easy thing; that would have meant far more survivors. It appears to me that many suffered physical pain trying to come to terms with the fact that the dead were rising, especially so if the zombie was a former loved one. I understand their difficulty. I also understand that they, too, are now dead (walking or otherwise).
So, you came to terms with the new reality and are running for your life from the ravenous undead. You see someone flagging you down, beckoning you to safety. You know they not undead (zombies don’t behave that way). With a sense of relief, you sprint their way. Just as you feel you’ve escaped, you realize you’ve jumped right into the fire. A common mistake is to assume that all humans are good humans. If you’re lucky, you’ll only pay for this mistake with whatever goods you have on you. Women tended not to be so lucky. And later, when food became scarce, you may have ended up on the dinner plate; a sad irony, to be eaten by a non-zombified human. Slavery, also, was not uncommon.
It is understandable that when you suffer from mortal terror, when the adrenaline is pumping non-stop, that you’ll burn every ounce of energy you have. The key is to conquer that fear. Find a temporary refuge and rest. Remember, it only takes a swift walk to outpace a zombie. You need to conserve your energy for the truly critical moments.
The key is to understand your enemy and, like they teach you in the army: eat and sleep when you have the opportunity, even if you’re not hungry or tired.