Posts Tagged ‘Reconsidering Death’

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.

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Quarantine

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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Infection

Posted: July 21, 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.

…After scientists concluded that the initial spread of the poultry “zombie” virus was too widespread to contain through established quarantine measures, much of the fertile farming land in New South Wales was destroyed. International attention was suddenly transfixed upon the situation and all exports were halted.

Panic broke out in the capital cities as images came through of the decimated Australian countryside.

The Western suburbs of Sydney struggled to provide shelter for the influx of internally displaced people and checkpoints were established on the major highways to regulate the flow of the population. Tempers rose as rumours of a similar outbreak in Mexico were found to be a hoax.

Within days the Internet was awash with fake reports and video content from across the world.

The world stopped laughing when the first reports of a human infection were confirmed in December of 2010 by the Australian government.

Outbreak

Posted: July 7, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in fifteen or over
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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.

…After the H1N1 ‘Swine Flu’ virus swept the globe in 2008 the world was once-again well versed in the potential severity of pandemics. The European economies in particular were the first to feel the ongoing ramifications that such an interruption to the flow of people and capital across and within their borders would cause. Latter, in the wake of the latter global financial crisis cash-strapped governments worldwide were ill-prepared for the most catastrophic virus to strike the human race.

[…]

The virus was first witnessed and identified in poultry farms in New South Wales. In September of 2010 whole farming communities saw chickens, geese and ducks contract a strange disease that sent them into what could only be described as a ferocious rage. The infected livestock exhibited few signs of illness except a slight fever and disconcerting lethargy before they suddenly attacked and ate their fellow fowl. Except for a murderous rage and voracious hunger for flesh they possessed no instincts for self-preservation.

When these animals were inspected by scientists their respiratory, circulatory, and neural processes had completely stopped. Hasty cell tests made at the time indicated, however, that some kind of metabolic function was perhaps present.

All conventional forms of sedation proved ineffective against the animals that were technically dead…

Reconsidering Death

Posted: June 27, 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.

…What authorities failed to realise at the time (and in many states and nations this nascent understanding is only now beginning to be represented in legislation) was that this epidemic would significantly alter the fabric of global society as it stood at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Such sensationalisms are rarely the purview of judiciously cautious public servants and the nation’s leading scientists.
More’s the pity.
Despite the patently disturbing symptoms of the condition, few experts beyond those immediately affected paid little attention to the case in the first weeks of the outbreak. Beyond the fervid speculation of the expert-for-hire talking heads engaged by the broadcast news channels, the overwhelming consensus within the serious scientific community was that despite the pathogen’s spectacular ostentatiousness the genuine threat of the disease was in fact severely curtailed due to a combination of extremely unlikely infection criteria and that in many cases the pathogen appeared to be neutralised within the human body within two to three weeks…
For centuries, artists and writers pictured worlds ripped apart by conspiracy, fear and political stagnation. From Huxley to Orwell and beyond, dystopias erupted with cathartic shock into the creative conscious and the world shuddered a collective sigh of panic averted. And yet our literature, art, and indeed the sum total our civilisation’s collective myth-making has left us sorely unprepared for the brave new world with which we are now faced.
Since the preliminary outbreak the human race has lost predominance over one of the most fundamental aspects of not only our natural environment but of our culture’s fundamental psyche. For the first time since the dimmest recesses of our species’ past we are no longer the dominant species on the planet.
Despite all the censuring measures put in place by governments across the globe, in all aspects of popular culture and modern literature there is now perceivable an overwhelming sense of fear, a new zeitgeist of dread.
For many it seems, the human race has reached its climax…