If I were head of state in World War Z, I would have to say that I would vote for going on the offensive. In my opinion, living in the shadows fearing for your life is not the best route to follow for the ultimate survival of humans as a race. At the rate of zombification, the zombies are going to outnumber the living which is going to make it even more difficult to later eradicate the zombie population. And like how we talked in class about the Redeker plan, there may need to sacrifice the few to save the many. Without any normal living humans, there is no future for humanity as our race will be wiped out. So regardless of the potential social and ethical implications this decision may create, it is important to make the decision to go on the offensive if we even want a chance of potentially have future generations who can move on from the horrors of the Great Panic.
Who should you save?
From a social standpoint, by taking the offensive (with an ultimate win of the war), the human spirit will change dramatically from the “Shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction” (267) as described in the Honolulu Conference. When faced in an environment in which you are constantly fearing for your life and/or a loved one, your morale can begin to deteriorate. For example, for some of the humans that continue to live feel the stress and burden of those who are struggling to survive, cannot handle the “never resting, never fading, never ceasing their call to join them” (199). The guilt to being a relatively normal survivor can become a heavy burden to the point of suicide as people can not handle the emotions that people are emoting. But with the ultimate elimination of the zombie race, this emotional trauma, with time, should begin to decline until in the future, the generations can live happily and peacefully. These future generations can recover but still look back at the past as a reminder and lesson of hopefully preventing or stopping another zombie outbreak from occurring once more. Also, these future generations could actually live, not just surviving.
The broken human spirit
Furthermore, in this zombie war, there isn’t necessarily any “comfort” any more. In Siberia, “the only comfort they could expect” (296) was dying as a group instead of individually. All this death surrounding everyone from suicide to reanimation must not have a healthy influence on members of the living community. Many others may develop similar desires to simply leave the living in order to escape from the traumas of their present. However, the winning of the war should cure all of this. For example, Joe from Washington describes the Great Panic as a unifying experience as “anywhere around the world, anyone you talk to, all of us have this powerful shared experience” (336). There can be a newly discovered, and even more powerful, feeling of community and unity among the surviving and new generations. Humans can learn that even though they may be going through a situation in which they see no positives, they have people that they can depend upon for advice and support.
A new sense of community amongst the living
Furthermore, from a tactical standpoint, I feel that the best method of attack would be to lure the zombie masses into one central location in which the armies could be strategically placed around to have the best angle to attack. With each zombie moan, more and more zombies would become attracted to this location which hopefully ease the burden of having to chase and find each zombie in the nearby vicinity.
A sample location for the zombie attack
Also, by viewing this zombie attack as a “war” instead of simply an epidemic, it may promote the idea amongst the military ranks that they should have a greater involvement. Typically when I hear of an epidemic, my mind switches to a scientific side and vaccinations. However, in this scenario, there is no “cure” to quickly quarantine or eradicate the “epidemic.” Furthermore, in several cases, it is more difficult to contain an epidemic than a war. Years could be spent on research without any breakthroughs. However, with war, I feel that it is easier to see an end to it as it is easier to see the end with the decrease in the number of zombies.