There’s this thing that happens when the Internet implodes with half-ironic, fully-indulgent chatter about the Impending Zombie Apocalypse. It starts, like most things, with Gawker. But then the stories start adding up (dude did what with his intestines??), and the citizens of the world begin to search desperately for a hero — or at least a verifiable source on whether zombies might be a real thing that maybe possibly could really happen since the Internet says so.

The hero here is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a government agency filled with 15,000 presumably knowledgeable humans whose job it is to tell presumably less knowledgeable humans that biological brain control definitely doesn’t exist (except in caterpillars, ants, and — in the case of the absurd cat lady syndrome — maybe humans a little bit). For a person sufficiently creeped out by the possibility, a simple 1.8 minutes spent chasing the paper trail from Google to the CDC’s drab government website will give them exactly what they’re looking for.

Or not.

Confirming their worst fears and wildest television fantasies, said person will puzzlingly find themselves on the CDC Foundation’s “Zombie Task Force” page — which tells you, after first peddling $12 Zombie Task Force T-shirts (LOW-INVENTORY ALERT), to “Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Prepared.” A little further trawling reveals a CDC-produced graphic novel entitled “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” as well as zombie preparedness website “buttons” and a zombie preparedness blog. Next to a picture of a couple dressed as zombie Danny Zuco and Sandy from Grease, an intrepid CDC blogger has detailed the following for the public’s peace of mind:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this…

Say what, CDC? Shit’s getting real. Perhaps we should look instead to their graphic novel. In it, the main character Todd is hanging out watching TV with his moderately annoyed dog Max, when things suddenly get decidedly not chill — reports come on about a rabid zombie outbreak in their town. The anchor reports that it is likely a highly mutagenized version of the common flu, saying the CDC is cautioning citizens to stay in their homes as they scramble to find a vaccine. Todd, incredulous and freaked out, gathers strength and says to Max, with modern gusto, “Let’s check the Internet.”

Well, Todd, you’ll have to buy a T-shirt and read the graphic novel first.

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