New Zealand officially entered its COVID-19 lockdown last Wednesday. Four weeks of home isolation and things are already starting to get weird. Everybody seems to be behaving themselves, aside from the occasional morons you see on the news getting told off by the Police.
It’s not difficult to ponder what might happen next. We haven’t seen any looting yet, and that’s usually the first sign of society starting to break down: ‘I really need this food to survive the lockdown…and this 60” plasma flat-screen.’
What if the lockdown doesn’t work, or the virus mutates and civilisation starts to ground to a halt. What do we do then?
What better source of inspiration that George A. Romero’s Dead films?
First of all, who’s likely to be armed for the occasion? Despite not being a typically gun-friendly nation, New Zealand’s gun stores had a run just before the lockdown, but it seems people were mostly buying air-rifles (pigeon-stew anybody?). That means that aside from the odd weekend hunter, most city folk will be unarmed.
You’d probably have to go into the countryside to find some real firepower. I’d expect most of, if not all, of our country’s farmers to own shotguns and rifles, and so a farmhouse – like the location in Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead – might be the safest place in the country. Plenty of milk to drink too.
As I don’t personally know any famers, approaching a farmhouse would be potentially more dangerous than the zombie hordes I’m trying to escape. I do live near a shopping mall though, which brings us to Romero’s 1978 sequel Dawn Of The Dead.
Presuming that petrol has dried out by this point, I have two options within walking distance: Meadowlands, a glorified strip-mall that has nothing of interest other than a supermarket (unless you think the contents of an Asian $2 shop might be useful in a zombie outbreak), and Botany, a picturesque outdoor shopping mall a little further afield.
Of the two, there’s a greater range of stores in Botany, but the outdoor nature of the complex, rather than a standalone mall structure, would make it practically impossible to defend. The best course of action would be to head to Sylvia Park, twelve kilometres away.
The route to Sylvia Park also requires the crossing of one of two bridges. That would make for a good scene in a zombie film, I’m sure. Cars piled up, buses hanging over the edges of the barriers on either side of the bridge. Perfect opportunity to get picked off by a sniper though; I must be careful!
It’ll all be worth it; Sylvia Park has got it all. There’s even an entire section devoted to outdoorsy camping shops. I should be good to hole up there in a deluxe, 7-man camping tent.
And in terms of following the plot of 1985’s Day OF The Dead, I’m not sure. The New Zealand army is so small, I’m not sure they even have any overground bunkers, let alone any underground ones.
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