Did you know that May is Zombie Awareness Month? As of 2007, every year sees May 1st to May 31st play host to Zombie Walks, Zombie Runs and Zombie Food Drives, often using such events to raise money for charity. Some even use May to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, gathering supplies such as nonperishable food items, water and firearms. Lest anyone think Zombie Awareness Month isn’t taken seriously, there is an official Zombie Research Society that use May to raise awareness of the impending zombie apocalypse. Even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. celebrate Zombie Awareness Month, albeit it was for one year only in October 2012.
So, why is May Zombie Awareness Month and, perhaps more importantly, what can you do about it? May is Zombie Awareness Month because of the fact that many zombie films are set in May. This includes the late, great George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), who directed not only several quintessential zombie films, but also had the foresight to warn us of humanity’s potential doom should we not get ourselves ready for any impending flesh-eating zombie plague.
This means not only awareness and education about zombies and the anger they represent to society, but fitness training, hand-to-hand and weapons combat, shelter construction, tactical thinking, team building exercises, learning about your environment and where the safest zones are in your town, city and country, and perhaps even passing a first aid course. The truly forward-thinking would also perhaps start looking at learning some biology, medicine, paramedics, electronics and engineering, so they can apply their skills for the help of humanity. And who knows? Perhaps even finally find a cure.
So, other than formulate your getaway plans and train you mind, body and soul for what will likely be a miserable future, what can you do today that will make yourself and others happy? Here’s a few simple ideas ...
- Get a Grey Ribbon - Grey Ribbons not only raise awareness of Zombie Awareness Month, but also for brain cancer, diabetes and asthma. So why not combine the two and use Zombie Awareness Month to also raise money for a disease or health problem that is more real than theoretical? Dressing up in a zombie costume and going on a fun run or Zombie Walk (or maybe “shuffle” is more apt) is not a bad idea.
- The Movie Night - after all that studying and training, you need to relax. Going through Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead is not only a great way to spend your time, but also helps serve as an instruction manual as to what to do (and what not to do) in such a situation. If all of that sounds too morbid, you could also put on Shaun of the Dead, which has taught us that cultivating our acting skills and learning to look like a zombie could also help us “blend in”.
- Set up talks and charitable bake sales, explaining why Zombie Studies is genuinely important - Did you know that we use supercomputers to simulate zombie outbreaks? “Why?” You may ask. Well, the idea of a “zombie virus outbreak” can actually help us understand how other diseases, parasites and other assorted pathogens spread and work. Sometimes, the science has to play catch up with the imagination, and learning how to help prevent a theoretical outbreak could help us prevent a real one, even if it’s another, actual disease!
So, there we have it. Several ways to celebrate Zombie Awareness Month, have some fun, develop a wide array of skills and even help some people out. Who knew that pondering about zombies could have some genuine real-world applications and benefits? Well, now you do, and you can spread this knowledge further.