Epidemiologists Have Mapped Out The Safest Places In America To Hide During A Zombie Apocalypse
What better way is there for epidemiologists to introduce the science of disease outbreak and control than by publishing a studying forecasting a zombie apocalypse? This month scientists from Cornell University published a study that forecasts the spread of a zombie outbreak in the United States, the control of the zombie disease, and where in the United States are the safest places to hide from zombies. Because now that season finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ has wrapped up zombie nerds can get back to the important things in life: discussing and arguing what they’d do in the case of a zombie apocalypse, and where in the U.S. they’d seek shelter.
The study titled ‘You Can Run, You Can Hide: The Epidemiology and Statistical Mechanics of Zombies’ is actually the most exhaustive work I’ve ever seen regarding an outbreak of zombies. The stated purpose of the study is as follows:
We use a popular fictional disease, zombies, in order to introduce techniques used in modern
epidemiology modelling, and ideas and techniques used in the numerical study of critical phenomena.
We consider variants of zombie models, from fully connected continuous time dynamics to a full scale
exact stochastic dynamic simulation of a zombie outbreak on the continental United States. Along
the way, we offer a closed form analytical expression for the fully connected differential equation,
and demonstrate that the single person per site two dimensional square lattice version of zombies
lies in the percolation universality class. We end with a quantitative study of the full scale US
outbreak, including the average susceptibility of different geographical regions.
It IS intense, and unless you’re really into mathematical forecasting models then much of it is going to go right over your head. You can check out the study IN FULL HERE, but for now let’s look at the breakdown of the safest places in the United States to be in the time of a zombie apocalypse:
Here’s how it would shake out with initially 1 in every 1,000,000 Americans being infected:
“In the early stages of the outbreak, while the population is roughly homogeneous, the zombie plague spreads out in roughly uniform circles, where the speed of the infection is tied to the local population density. Infestations on the coasts, with their higher population density, have spread farther than those near the center of the country. After several weeks, the map exhibits stronger anisotropy, as we spread over larger geographical areas and the zombie front is influenced by large inhomogeneities in population density. After four weeks, much of the United States has fallen, but it takes a very long time for the zombies to diffuse and capture the remaining portions of the United States. Even four months in, remote areas of Montana and Nevada remain zombie free.
After 28 days, it is not the largest metropolitan areas that suffer the greatest risk, but the regions located between large metropolitan areas. For instance, in California it is the region near Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley that is at the greatest risk as this area will be overrun by zombies whether they originate in the San Francisco area or the Los Angeles / San Diego area. The area with the greatest one month zombie risk is north eastern Pennsylvania, itself being susceptible to outbreaks originating in any of the large metropolitan areas on the east
Thus, as proven TIME AND AGAIN in video games, Las Vegas is quite possibly the SAFEST place to retreat during a zombie apocalypse. If there ever was an actual zombie breakout, Montana and Nevada are the TOP TWO places for you to seek shelter. But of course everyone now knows this information, which would flood the area with people seeking refuge. So you’d have to be a little counter-intuitive and come up with a remote place in those two states where nobody would find you. But in general, Nevada and Montana are going to be the safest places for you to seek refuge during a zombie apocalypse, and all you zombie-obsessed nerds can now sleep a lot sounder with that knowledge.