|Rick on horse in the pilot episode.
Infrastructure and resources became overwhelmed and any defensive posture was
quickly overrun by the sheer number of zombies. I am puzzled by one detail though, how did the zombies become so mangled and torn apart? I can see where some cuts or bites would be apparent. I’ve been told that the writers never really addressed any of this in the comics and such. Little has been discussed in the TV series as of yet. 'TS19' touched on it somewhat but only in the context of the doctor’s wife. I suppose that given the scenario, the characters wouldn't really know much about the details. In discussing this with other fans, I’ve heard a few theories.
One suggests the virus entered and contaminated the water supply. This seems quite plausible due to the fact that the effects were almost immediate. It certainly wasn’t an airborne pathogen. Everybody would be a walker by now. There wouldn’t be any survivors. Food-borne? Cross-contamination? Some rare plant or insect inadvertently imported from China? Certainly well within the realm of possibilities. Like any outbreak, it can be traced back to one place and one point in time. When Rick is first brought to the hospital, everything was fine. By the time Shane goes back to check on him, everything has gone to hell. This actually brings up some questions regarding the time-line of the story. I’ll try to address those in a later post.
To illustrate my obsession on this topic, I have to share a dream I had in which I was at a sporting event where one of the concession stands featured some exotic cuisine. The virus was in one of the strange ingredients used in the preparation of the menu items. As the cooks prepared the food to be sold to the spectators, they contracted the virus through the handling of the mysterious herb. This small group of food-handlers thus became the first to fall victim to what would become the end of the world. Having arrived early, I was talking to one of these folks when they became afflicted with the disease. Sadly, I became the first person eaten by a zombie and woke up in a sweat, disturbed by my horrible dream.
Not so far-fetched really. Imagine a stadium full of people eating from these stands in an enclosed area. The unrealistic aspect of the dream is that the concession stand worker died and came back within minutes. As per the story, the fever takes a few days to kill its victim and according to the CDC, anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours before someone’s brain re-starts. (See TS-19 in season one)
The fact is that it had to start somehow, somewhere. I want to know and I need to understand!