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16 September, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 4 - Episode 3 "Isolation"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
As is easily inferred from the title of this episode, the subject matter mostly concentrates on the sickness that is slowly spreading throughout the community at the prison. Few things are more frightening than an illness that you either cannot or do not know how to treat. At least with an outside enemy, there is someone to fight, but how you go about fighting a microscopic bug that is attacking your body and there is a chance you could die from your own body's defenses attempting to fight it off? It is bone chilling, to say the least, and it is a common trope we often see in Doomer Fiction. The fact that it is used regularly is not surprising, though, because it really is something that will become a serious problem (just as it already is in today's civilized world) in any situation where people suffer through a lack of adequate healthcare and are having to depend on untreated water sources.

Such outbreaks can also be exacerbated by a group of people living together in very close quarters for any length of time. I'm sure that all of us grew up with our mothers telling us to dress warmly or we would catch our death of cold, but we now know that that truly was an Old Wive's Tale. People don't get sick from being cold; colds, influenza, and other illnesses are simply more common in the winter months because we are more likely to be cooped-up together indoors with all of the windows closed, essentially breathing the air of the other people around us as it is recycled over and over by our home's heating systems.

In a societal collapse situation, when we are attempting to stick together in order to survive, the same will hold true for those of us who attempt to live with a small group in a retreat setting. Quite simply, the more people you have around you, the more likely you are to be infected by some germ that one of them is carrying unknowingly. It's just a game of odds; one of the trade-offs that must be weighed against the safety of having a group, rather than attempting to survive alone. In such a situation, it really will be as Hershel's is in this episode: if you breathe, you are risking your life. Either way, the point is that sickness really is a situation we may all have to face. People will die, and graves will need to be dug, but we will also have to use our own ingenuity to overcome these kinds of outbreaks.

The first step to containing an outbreak will always be isolating the sick in an attempt to keep them from spreading the illness. Even this will be difficult, though. To be brutally honest, it will be hard on everyone. Individuals who are sick and need to be cared for will need to be separated from the very people who love them and want nothing more than to take care of them in their time of need. It truly will be a necessity, however.

Next, you will need antibiotics and other medications with which to treat the sick. If you have not already figured out a way to stockpile these kinds of medications, then this is another situation that will require a party to go foraging for the needed supplies  as seen in the show. Ever a font of wisdom, the character Hershel also gives us a very good idea of which many of us probably have never thought: though it is likely that pharmacies and even hospitals will already have been stripped clean of any useful supplies, most people will not have thought about veterinarian's offices or veterinarian colleges. And, as most of us Preppers / Survivalists already know, antibiotics for animals are essentially identical to those for human beings. As always, however, any time a party ventures out to forage for supplies there will be danger, and, in a world made exceedingly small by the increase in the kinds of dangers we wall face, a facility that might only be 50 miles from your current location will feel like you are traveling hundreds of miles in order to reach it.

And, lastly, as is true even now, it is very important to keep anyone who is ill hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids helps, and this episode finally showed us how the community at the prison is obtaining their water. They are pumping it from the small stream that runs outside the fences through the use of an interesting pump system made from old bicycles that I would dearly love to get my hands on a set of plans on how to build.

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:

  • Season 4: Going back in time to review these and will link as completed
  • Episode 1
  • Episode 2

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