Zombies! They’re coming to get you!

Toward the end of October every year, the color orange highlights facades of houses, schools and businesses and black cats become a fixture on every window and third grade door in the country. Here come the mummies, vampires and skimpy nurse costumes and Halloween has begun. There is certainly no shortage of zombies to add to list. In fact, the zombies might even outnumber other scary costumes popular on the street.

With the popularity of zombies due to hit T.V. shows like “The Walking Dead,” or even classic films such as Romero’s “The Night of the Living Dead,” it almost feels like a real zombie apocalypse. We all know that a real zombie takeover would be impossible, right? Zombies are obviously not real, right? Some recent studies my say otherwise.

What is a zombie–exactly? According to Merriam-Webster, a zombie is defined as: a person who moves very slowly and is not aware of what is happening. Wait, did I look up Congress?

The other more common definition is: a dead person who is able to move because of magic. Assuming magic is real this sounds fairly believable. However, excluding magic or any United States branches of government, it would be impossible for a person to die and then walk again with the livinga��in classic, ravenous fashion. Or is it?

According to a recent FOX news article, students with the National Academy of Sciences look to find answers to the possibilities and plausible causes of such a plague. The STEM program will be done in experimental installments, studying everything from forensics to zombies and even superheroes. Students will be required to calculate the rate of disease spreada��as well as diagnose and create a control such as a vaccine.

Dr. Steven Schlozman, a professor at Harvard Medical School, said in an interview, “The reason they chose to use zombies was because they are less scary than the real thing.”

While zombies are merely science fiction to most people, the reality is that mankind has faced issues with disease spread and plague. The most common plague, the Bubonic Plague in the 14th century, killed 30-60 percent of the European population. The disease came from fleas and small rodents. A person infected with this disease died within 4 days of becoming infected. Though these people were ill, they still weren’t the so-called “zombie” that graces the big screen. However, another result was the subsequent rise of violence, warfare and crime due to the chaos surrounding such an event. This is certainly something out of a zombie movie screenplay. Having not been there, it would be hard for one to describe the symptomatic tendencies these victims would have projected. Would these people be considered zombies by today’s standards? The answer is possibly.

Although mankind’s battle with disease and plague still remain today’medicine has come a long ways too. It is because of this great feat that the possibility of a massive epidemic is very unlikely. Yet doctors find new conditions every day. Some are cured simply by an everyday antibiotic; some have yet to be controlled.

But what is the possibility of a disease making people seem dead’still walking with a taste for living flesh? Not likely. However, there are many diseases that cause people to have zombie like symptoms. For instance, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, leprosy and even sleepwalking all portray zombie like symptoms. If one had never seen a person with these ailments, he or she might think it was a zombie. And of course everybody with a Smartphone…Well, they may not be zombies but there are certainly some zombie like symptoms evident. Just walk around; you will see what I mean.

Nothing is ever certain when it comes to medicine, disease or even zombies’which makes it possible for zombies to walk the night, slobbering and pulsating. Highly unlikely, but possible. Never-the-less, Halloween reminds those of us who grew-up watching low budget, zombie “B-movies” that it could happen. Those who don’t believe, maybe you will.