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First of all, I have not seen the show, only read the comics.

In that scenario, there are four very important things to know about the zombie apocalypse.

  1. No matter where it originated, the virus travels by air, and faster than people. It will infect the entire landmass, maybe the entire world, within a very short delay.

  2. Being infected makes no difference whatsoever before you die, but when you die no matter the cause you will turn into a zombie within 24 hours, sometimes much faster.

  3. Any zombie bite will kill you within hours.

  4. There is no known cure to either being alive and infected, or full blown zombie.

Let's assume that the people responsible for the original outbreak were both prepared and responsible. They reacted fast enough, either by alerting or being the autorities, so that everyone got the information quickly enough to avoid a complete disaster like in TWD.

They couldn't prevent the infection, but zombies didn't take control of the country or world, not even a city.

After that, since everyone turns into zombies on death, but it won't take you by surprise, I guess zombies will become a notable risk in society.

How would society adapt to this new zombie element added to regular deaths?

I assume funerals would be very different, considering that even by killing the zombie, you'd still have a much more disgusting corpse, therefore open caskets would probably disapear.

I am asking specifically what measures could a country take, whether it is by law or by religion, to avoid mass murders every time someone dies? What habits would people adopt to react to this important change from a safety point of view? Is it even possible to avoid complete anihilation, assuming we know what we're dealing with from the start?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think it is a perfectly valid question which can be answered objectively if we focus on rituals and practices preventing a zombie outbreak in case of someone's death. I would definitely want to know what people can come up with. $\endgroup$ – Olga Oct 18 '17 at 5:32
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  • Predictable death locations (nursing homes, hospitals) seem likely to be prepared with on-site armored crematoriums, security doors, and plenty of well-equipped (armed) orderlies. Ambulances and hearses will look quite different!

  • Since sudden or surprise death is the big threat, look to pay higher taxes for more police and containment teams.

  • Manslaughter, negligence, or suicide resulting in further zombie-caused havoc will be treated much more seriously. Drunk driving or drug abuse, for example, present a much higher risk to others if a simple crash or overdose explodes from a one-person tragedy to a chain overwhelming a neighborhood.

  • Rise of surveillance states: People and their vehicles with monitors so nobody dies unnoticed or unlocated. Well, we know the Census will be accurate! Also, universal (perhaps compulsory) health care and behavioral health monitoring...now that one severe depression is a risk to an entire community. You can live without a monitor...on the Reservation.

  • One imagines various kinds of swords will come back into fashion, and various anti-zombie techniques will be added to school gym classes.

  • Look for in-person funerals to be replaced by post-cremation memorials and wakes.

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  • $\begingroup$ mandatory swords in all first aid kits, a security officer at every surgery, tanks instead of ambulances, "save your world and decapitate your grandparents before they die"-posters, oh what fun. And don't forget: autoexploding necklaces like in the film, i think wedlock. $\endgroup$ – Henning M. Oct 18 '17 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningM., those are all great answers. Why post them as comments where we can't give you any points for your creativity. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Oct 23 '17 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Henry Tayler: because they are better as additions to user535733s answer $\endgroup$ – Henning M. Oct 23 '17 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningM, I augment other people's answers all the time. If I think an answer already addresses the question and just want to add a few details, I will usually add an answer of my own and reference the previous answer in my opening sentence. Something like, "Adding to User535733's excellent answer..." I don't know if that is an acceptable practice but nobody has ever complained. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Oct 23 '17 at 21:36
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Building codes would be upgraded, doors and structures would be rated to resist a single zombie assault for a set time period, so that if someone dies in their sleep or is otherwise turned, they are easily contained and don't break out and kill the entire household.

Along similar lines I imagine people wouldn't want to share sleeping spaces as much, whether married couples or otherwise; expect solitary sleeping accommodations to be preferred, barracks or high occupancy dorms would be the worst possible environments.

Expect bullet proof helmets or other head wear that would prevent easily subduing a zombie to be outlawed, or outfitted with required weak spots.

Smart phone heart monitors with alarms would likely be extremely popular, the extreme end of this type of device would be an automated head mounted (or implanted) small explosive device to destroy the brain after death is detected.

I wouldn't expect everyone to be trained or equipped to eliminate zombies, some would (I would expect general population rates similar to first aid or CPR training), but many people would be psychologically or physically unable to perform the task. I would expect the standard method employed and trained for the masses would be containment; isolate and avoid the infected and call for help.

Expect weapons designed specifically to kill zombies to be developed, marketed, and in common distribution and usage.

  • Zombie specific ammo designed to penetrate the skull, but minimize collateral damages.
  • Knives or other piercing tools.
  • Bite and scratch resistant clothing.
  • I would expect something like a shark bangstick to be the preferred tool, basically a stick with a shotgun shell on the end that fires on contact: apply this end to zombie head to destroy brain.
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Fitbit would come out with a new model of health monitoring wrist bands called the GoneGong which would monitor its wearers heartbeat and sound a klaxon when the wearer dies.

The deluxe model would come with a length of razor wire in the strap which can be used to garrote/decapitate the wearer should less sanitary reanimation prevention techniques are not available.

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