There are fictional story lines that exist, of which people believe will never happen: aliens invading Earth, a vampire take over, a zombie apocalypse, etc. What makes these scenarios impossible are the fictitious qualities; things that people have not witnessed first hand; products of ones’ imaginations.
Take aliens for example. For most, there is no definitive proof that other-world beings actually exist (never mind Area 51 and the Roswell ‘incident’), so it’s highly improbable that they will invade Earth.
And vampires- beasts of folklore and legends who feed upon the living. Again, no proof, so the chances that they will take over are slim to none.
Finally, zombies- an undead creature that has been infected in some way resulting in a deterioration of the brain. Some of the symptoms of the fabled zombie virus are:
- lack of motivation
- numbness of body
- little to no brain activity
Hasn’t the heavy use of handheld technology and social media had the same effects?
We all have fallen victim to the easily accessible, procrastination-inducing world that is the internet at some point or another- many on a daily basis. Hell, that’s why you’re here! Sure, there are a plethora of fun, endearing, informative sites, apps, and videos that keep our attention, but there are also an enormous array of negativity in the form of stories and comments, and whether people chose to admit it or not, such negativity has major impacts on our individual mentalities.
We have become a society of impatient complainers. Why? Because we have been coddled by our phones and tablets. Our handhelds are so accessible and easy to use that we feel the need to take them everywhere and use them for everything. Need to be reminded to take your medicine? There’s an app for that. Need a way to kill time while you’re droppin’ a deuce? There’s an app for that. Need a flashlight? Need you wallet? Need to start your car? There are apps for all those and more!
So it should come as no surprise that we have also become a society of ‘expert’ multitaskers. Sure, I can send a quick text while I’m driving. I’m not going to kill anyone… Walking is such a dull activity. Why don’t I scroll through my Instagram or catch up on some emails on my way…? Of course I can continue my phone conversation as I go through checkout. I’m not a moron…
Everywhere you go, you see them- people so consumed by their electronic lives. They have a look about them: back slouched, shoulders hung, head bowed, eyes glazed, having no concern for the world around them, often becoming irritable if interrupted… This is our zombie apocalypse! It’s happening right before us, and yet, nothing is being done to fight it. There is no antidote being researched. There is no mass hysteria. There’s a beautiful, live world going on around them, but they don’t seem to care. They can’t bear to break the boundless holds these devices have over them. And the worst part: it’s by choice.
All jokes aside, another zombie apocalyptic-type phenomenon that is sweeping the world is the opioid epidemic. Here in the states, the number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses last year were higher than the number of motor vehicle accidents. Shocking! I know.
I work in the health industry, but not just that- in the public health industry. What does that mean? Well to quote the all knowing Wikipedia:
Public health refers to “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.
Again, what does that mean? It means that my job not only provides healthcare services like that of a hospital or doctor’s office, we also educate the public about health risks and behaviors. As such, the opioid crisis has been a hot topic for us for some time.
Like a zombie apocalypse, opioid addiction effects the brain resulting in slowed responses and odd tendencies, not to mention, once infected, it’s next to impossible to cure one’s self. It’s a rampant disease that has devastating affects. It’s a powerful force that impacts not just the blue collar population, not just the homeless, not just the young. It affects us all in some form or another.
The worst part about this disease is that it is largely the faults of the pharmaceutical industry. The supposed ‘good guys’ that make and market medicine that is supposed to heal your wounds and lead you down a road to recovery, triggered this apocalypse with their oversight.
More specifically, when Perdue Pharma first started marketing OxyContin as a type of cure-all, they stated that the drugs did not have an ounce of addictive qualities. Boy were they wrong. Then, when it became evident that people were becoming dependent on their pain killers, they decided to skirt the issue by saying its “potential for addiction was less than 1%.” You wanna read some messed up shite about Perdue Pharma and their lies, pop over to this article.
And don’t even get me started on fentanyl; a drug so powerful, that the size equivalent of 3 sugar crystals can kill an adult.
So how does this disease begin? What is the metaphorical initial bite? It can happen one of two ways:
- Someone who can’t get their pain killer prescription refilled turns to heroin to ‘knock the edge off’
- Someone becomes curious because the cool kids are doing it/they need an escape/ they have a moment of weakness and then it becomes ‘no one will know,’ and ‘just once more’
Once you’re ‘bitten,’ all hope is lost. You become a modern day zombie that can’t function like a real human. You’re perspective, needs, and desires become warped. Your health declines at a rapid rate, and the next thing you know, you’re feeding off those you once loved, be it for money, food, a place to stay…
But this epidemic has the potential to turn around. More people are learning about opioids and their effects. Drug addicts who once were seen as hopeless zombies and societal scum, are now being viewed as people who are sick and in need of medical attention. There are numerous addiction services and rehabilitation programs available. There are drug courts and recovery peer counselors. There are overdose reversal drugs like Narcan and Neloxone that are saving people’s lives everyday.
With just a bit of education and the willingness to help, we can defeat this zombie apocalypse and sue the pants off of big pharma companies in the process!