Posts Tagged ‘history of the pathogen’

Back to School

Posted: August 12, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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Surgical Mask in the Financial District

[Interview conducted by the Harmony Institute with Charlie Turner, aged 15]

I just remember all these ads on Facebook about how it was okay to go back to school. They had these dumb-looking kids in school uniforms walking down the path with smiles on their faces and books in their hands.

One of my friends knew the girl in it and said that the only time her mum had let her out of the house was to film the commercial.

In the end me and my younger brother were allowed to go back to school, but we had to wear these face masks the whole time.


You can only be scared for so long

Posted: August 11, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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The Death Zone - Longer and Lower. Frenchay hospital, Bristol

[Interview conducted by the Harmony Institute with Valerie Turnbull, triage nurse, St. Vincent’s Hospital]

I had just started at St. Vincent’s and didn’t know too much about the whole thing. There had been rumours, you know, just whispers about what the poor people might look like or how you could tell.

In the beginning I was dreading walking through the wards in case someone had it.

But you can only be scared for so long.

Everyone was holding their breath for a new case but it just didn’t come. Eventually we just got on with it. We didn’t forget exactly, but I figured if I was going to come face to face with a Zombie, ah sorry, Post–dead, I had better know what I could do to help.

One morning all the nurses were called into a presentation from the senior medical staff about procedures and early detection. We were all a bit confused, we had listened to Dr. Boyd, we thought the risk was over. Turns out some doctors weren’t convinced. They wanted us to be prepared.

They showed us this video of one of the first cases. Close up shots of the skin and the eyes. How they acted around raw meat and, well, brains. I thought to myself, there is not a single thing I could do to help that thing.


Isn’t that an awful feeling?

Harmony Reclaimed

Posted: August 6, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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All excerpts from “Reconsidering Death: A Brief History of the Zombie Phenomenon” provided courtesy of author Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell. All rights reserved.

On the 2nd of December, The Harmony Institute is established by the Federal Government under the custodianship of Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell, a newly-formed team of leading scientists, social psychologists and policy-makers from around the world is gathered and enticed by the Federal Government’s new initiative. The institute is to be based in the South of Sydney.

The following day, the government issues thorough documentation of the affects of the disease on the human body and the process by which patients regain consciousness. The government’s efforts are a strategic attempt to restore faith in the general public and allow the population to regain some form of normalcy.

There are no new cases of the disease and most reports advise that the contagion and virus are no match for the robust human immune system.

Six weeks after the initial outbreak, scientists across the world agree that the virus has been eradicated. Although some health organisations advise caution most, including the World Health Organisation, give the general public of Australia the green light to resume life as normal.

Later, representatives from major health organizations meet to discuss any further impact the disease could have in the wider community. Australia’s Chief Scientist Robert Boyd addresses the conference with a message of stability and encouragement. “I see no reason why people should not go about their business. This disease has been eradicated naturally,” he states before a packed press conference following the first day of proceedings.

Scientists are still unable to locate the virus within the human bloodstream, nor do they have any information about how it is transmitted.

Months later, and all levels of the Australian government still promote a message of ‘business as usual’ as they desperately try to reinvigorate the stagnated economy. Unemployment is at twenty one percent – its highest level since the great depression. Conservative estimates state the threat of the disease cost Australia two and a half billion dollars.

With the fear of transmission waning throughout the country more health information is released to the public about the nature and symptoms of the disease. A short instructional video is prepared by leading science organisations about the changes to the human body along with footage from the initial patients.

Hospitals and general practices remain on high alert for specific symptoms.

Remembrance of things past…

Posted: July 28, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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[Transcript of unbroadcast radio interview conducted with Audrey Hampton outside of [redacted] processing centre]

It was a big white room in a medical centre out in [redacted]. I had to put on this white suit and had to have a shower before with this awful green disinfectant. It was horrible.

They sat me down in this chair in front of a glass window and I must have been waiting for over half an hour. When the shutter started to rise I could see Michael centimetre by centimetre. I peeked under to see him as fast as I could.

He was…well, at first I couldn’t recognise him. I think he noticed, but he didn’t say anything. I wish I had been able to hide my reaction. After all he had been through.

He was thin. Really thin and wearing this white smock. They had shaved off his beautiful hair.


He smiled and a tear rolled down his cheek. I pushed up against the cold glass. I just wanted to hug him. I wanted to take him home and put him in our bed and look after him and kiss him. He said he loved me, that he thought about me all day. His voice was tinny through the speaker.

He said he was remembering things. You know…from when he had…changed.

I didn’t know what to say. I told him my Dad had been fishing that weekend in the new boat.

Audrey Hampton


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Posted: July 24, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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All excerpts from “Reconsidering Death: A Brief History of the Zombie Phenomenon” provided courtesy of author Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell. All rights reserved.

During the initial burst of hysteria that swept Sydney the Federal and State governments, in co-operation with the major media companies, sought to downplay the risk of the virus. All reports claimed that whatever the nature of the disease, it was extremely difficult to contract and that its symptoms and effects were hazy.

The city was still struggling to deal with the internally-displaced population still flooding eastward, and within emergency camps hastily erected throughout Sydney’s satellite townships tensions were high. In a radical move, the Federal Government withdrew all active combat forces from Afghanistan in order to help enforce curfews imposed upon high-density urban areas. For the first time since the Second World War, armed Australian soldiers patrolled Sydney’s streets. Public transport was limited, schools closed and businesses encouraged employees to work from home. With imports and exports halted and further disruptions to everyday life, the Australian economy rapidly faltered.

The incumbent government called the federal election in January, promising stability and a swift response to the threat.

In April of 2011 after months of concern reports came through from the CSIRO-led task-force that many of the first cases of human zombiism had completely healed.

In eight out of ten subjects all symptoms had disappeared without any medical intervention whatsoever.

There had been no new confirmed cases since the previous year and many scientists surmised that the virus was simply unable to compete against the human immune response for an extended period.

In actuality, the immunological community was completely baffled. Leading specialists were repeatedly unable to even locate the supposed virus within the patient’s blood during the period of zombification. Worse, once the patient had healed it was as if nothing had ever happened. The patient would emerge from the state slowly, with no recollection of what had occurred. Over the next few days, more and more memory would return from the period of their illness.

Without any evidence of a virus some even suggested that the disease could be entirely psychological or psychosomatic.

After months of international scientific scrutiny, the nation’s medical experts were still unable to deduce how the disease was contracted. Hence, for safety reasons, the initial sufferers of the disease were kept in quarantine and in a state of legal indeterminance, despite their apparent recovery.

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Someone screaming underwater

Posted: July 23, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in fifteen or over
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[interview conducted with Toby Rayment, provided courtesy of Keith Tinney, Sydney Morning Herald]

I remember the sound she was making more than anything else, that’s what I remember.

I was standing on Platform 16 at Central Station waiting for my train home. On the platform opposite there was a group of people standing around one of the benches. There were so many people I couldn’t see what they were looking at.

Some people ran away with a purpose.

It reminded me of the time I saw a car accident, you know, how some people like to take on different roles in an emergency. There was a woman in a power suit and joggers calling someone, the ambulance I guess, on her mobile. Others just stood around and watched with their arms folded. There was a woman with her hands over her mouth and two little kids just stood there staring. People on my platform started asking each other what was going on.

Then I heard the moan.

It was definitely human, but a bit wet, like someone screaming underwater.

The crowd backed away and I think someone vomited off the platform. Through the gaps in the crowd I could see this woman sprawled on the bench. She was rigid and shaking violently and then…completely still.

I ran down the platform and didn’t look back.

Toby Rayment


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Deep red through the clouds

Posted: July 22, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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[interview conducted with internally-displaced citizen (designate #48761986: “Madeleine Lee”) at Parramatta Emergency Processing Centre]

My family were in our car driving to our Auntie’s house in Sydenham. I was happy to be going there because it reminded me of Christmas.

Every now and then my Mum would start crying, just very softly.

I asked her what was wrong and my Dad put his hand on her shoulder. She just wiped her eyes and kept looking out the window.

I remember there were cars everywhere.

The traffic was moving so slowly on the highway that Dad turned the car off and we just sat there. There were boys and girls running around on the side of the road, but Mum said we couldn’t. My brother was playing on his DS, but I just sat there and thought about home.

Ash was falling from the sky and the sun was glowing deep red through the clouds.

Internally-displaced citizen (designate #48761986: “Madeleine Lee”).