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'Dead Center'
by Arthur Helms
Posted 7/25/07


I had dinner with an old friend of mine last week. lets call him “Joe”. He's the chief of security for a medium-sized family amusement park (that shall remain nameless). He commented on my recent exclusive signing with ZWN and couldn’t wait to tell me about the new security precautions he’d instituted for his park.

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Now, I don’t usually talk shop at dinner, but his passion for the subject was infectious and, on condition of anonymity for both Joe and the park, described the security scenarios and measures in great detail.

Joe’s descriptions took the better part of the night. He told me about certain attractions and buildings they had covertly converted into “safe houses”, with concealed steel shutters for the doors and hidden caches of food, weapons and medical supplies designed to keep hundreds of people fed, sheltered and safe for weeks if needed. The park’s hotels had received similar, nearly invisible modifications as well. Joe sent several members of his own security and medical staffs to non-publicized training classes specifically designed against the threat of Necro-Mortosis. Coursework ranged from leadership and crowd control all the way up to hard-core nullification. These specially-trained members of the staff are scheduled in such a way as to make sure there are always enough of them in the park during any operational hour.

Compare Joe’s preparations for a family-themed amusement park with that of a cruise ship like, say, the ill-fated Horizon Dawn. If an outbreak were to occur in a family-themed amusement park, there would be a multitude of places to hide and many exits to channel people away from the threat. Most of these parks have professional security forces on site, or at the very least a hotline to local police and emergency services. By contrast an enclosed, captive environment such as a cruise ship, airplane or even remote resorts in rugged areas such as ski lodges can, and have, turned into literal Necro-Mortosis incubators due to poor or non-existent planning or just plain panic.

Now, I’m not saying anything that most of you don’t know already. The difference is, I am actually saying it, not merely thinking it. The plague is real, and it is growing. Joe’s park could end up being THE hot vacation destination for families around the country if they would only advertise such arrangements for the safety of their guests. Joe and his forward-thinking employers are tight-lipped about the whole thing, and it’s not because they’re afraid the dead may find out; they’re afraid the living will.

We don’t want to think about the dead, Necro-Mortosis or the 'Z' word. Not when we vacation or put ourselves into an airplane flying at 30,000 feet above the ground. I’m sure the plague was the last thing on the minds of the passengers of the Horizon Dawn. But if a family-themed fun park, populated with costumed mascots, over-priced potato-patch fries and all things good has seen fit to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best, shouldn’t we expect the same thing from our transportation industry? No one wants to think about their plane crashing or their luxury liner sinking under the weight of the 24 hour buffet, but these things do happen. These companies instruct their passengers on what to do if these events occur based on safety plans designed by professionals and overseen, even legislated, by government. These companies need to develop comprehensive, professional and monitored plans of action in the event of a Necro-Mortosis outbreak. Further, they need to instruct their passengers and customers on these plans openly and honestly.

Most companies will tell you off the record that they can’t advertise any plans they’ve developed, or systems they have implimented. To do so would become a marketing nightmare, with the fear that potential customers would quickly and subconsciously link the plague with the company name. Making plans and preparations in the corporate world is a double-edged sword. We all would like to think that corporations and government are working to keep us safe from the plague. And yet, at the same time we don’t really want to discuss it as a possibility here in the good ‘ole U.S. of A. We can’t have it both ways.

We need companies like Joe’s theme park to come out into the light and openly discuss the precautions they’ve taken, and we need corporations that deal in the captive transport of hundreds per trip to make their own regulated and investigated plans for dealing with an outbreak en route. Personally, I can tell you that the first airline to come out with a logical, rational and executable 'necro outbreak' plan will become my airline of choice. And I don’t think I need to tell you where I’ll be vacationing this summer.

Arthur Helms is a syndicated columnist who has dealt with a host of social and political issues. His previous syndicated column, “Logic, Please?” offered commentary on a host of world-view issues as seen through the cold yet bright light of plain logic, demonstrated fact and simple common sense.

While the academic and political elite often dismissed his commentary as “too simplistic” for our complicated times, his books of collected columns and hundreds of national speaking engagements each year attest to his connection to a readership yearning for simple answers to complex issues. Helms recently ended his syndicated column to sign on exclusively with Zombie World News, providing a fresh, logical,
plain-English view of the plague and to bring some common sense to what many perceive to be a senseless situation.

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