An actual zombie apocalypse is pretty unlikely, unless the way diseases work changes radically in the next few years.
But if the way that diseases work carries on exactly as it currently does, humanity is certain to face a major pandemic at some point in the future.
A recent meeting of international health experts discussed the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed at least 50 million people.
If a similar viral infection sprang up today, the body count could easily be double that – with the disease spreading rapidly around the world with unwitting carriers boarding airliners and ferries.
It’s wise to have a plan in case a worldwide pandemic hits.
A plan that involves getting as far away from centres of population as possible – not just because of infection but because the rising death toll will wreak havoc n the global economy, sparking violent unrest.
Professor Nick Wilson and Dr Matt Boyd have listed the safest bolt-holes in Risk Analysis Journal.
They say that the risk of human extinction is probably rising.
Factors such as artificial intelligence and genetically-engineered infections have been added to the weapons of mass destruction that we’ve all lived with for generations, making this a very hazardous century.
Dr Boyd says that we need to be ready, in particular, for genetically-engineered organisms being released either intentionally or by mistake, leading to massive loss of life.
Professor Wilson adds that it’s important to have a plan in case the worst happens: “It’s like an insurance policy. You hope that you never need to use it, but if disaster strikes, then the strategy needs to have been in place ahead of time.”
The paper lists Australia as being the No.1 place to ride out a global disaster, because it so much wide-open space and is so rich in resources, although the fact that it’s so far from everywhere else makes it not only safer, but harder to get to.
The rest of the top 5 are also, notably, island nations: New Zealand, Iceland, Malta and Japan.
Cape Verde, the Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago came next
Dr Boyd says: “It may be that a clear and pressing need arises where the only option for humanity is an island refuge.”
They point out, though, that borders will rapidly close once the scale of the issue becomes apparent, and that it’s essential to move quickly if you want to take advantage of these safe harbours.
“A catastrophic pandemic is likely to upend agriculture and industry across the globe, largely due to the decimation of specialist workforces, and logistics chain breakdowns.”
“However, if a population of agriculturally and industrially flourishing humans and resources could be partitioned from those afflicted by the disaster, then prospects for recovery post-catastrophe would be optimised,” the authors explain in the study.
Probably easier, in the long run, to give up and join the zombies.