Friday, August 3, 2012


Yesterday's post brought on the expected onslaught of comments and messages. Most of you out there aren't happy with the leadership's position on how we should deal with the people from Louisville. I understand your anger. I get that many of you think that in our position you would do the 'right' thing, and set up some kind of quarantine at the least. Denying help to our friends is not a thing that sits well with any of us.

But let me set some things straight for you so there is absolutely zero confusion as to why we've come to this decision. And why as of this morning only a handful of people have volunteered to go help.

First: the Louisville crew aren't being hit with some mutation of the new plague. Or, rather, if they are it isn't susceptible to heat the way the versions we've dealt with have been. It's either something new and more resilient than any form of the plague we have experience with, or it's a plain old vanilla disease taking advantage of our weakened immune systems. Do you people really think that if a solution was available like using our saunas that we wouldn't at least help them set something like that up? It was the very first thing they tried. It failed.

Second: as fast and hard as this disease has hit, coming into contact with the Louisville group is almost a guaranteed vector for the illness they carry. Seven or eight people from here volunteered to help after I posted yesterday, and they rode out together. Those people can't come back here for a long time, and that was their choice. So, please, all of you out there who're haranguing us for making a heart-wrenching decisions that you don't have to make, allowing you an easy moral high ground: would you abandon your friends and family for months to go help people whose illness stands a three in four chance of infecting and maybe killing you? If you helped and somehow managed not to get sick, would you be willing to stay away long enough to show that you were no longer a carrier?

I don't know that I could. And I still wish I could go help.

Third: I do logistics, and this isn't just a matter of isolating people and giving them, food. Sure, we could set up a quarantine area and feed people, even send in a very small group of dedicated people in hazmat suits to carry in goods.

If that were it, I'd be the first to say hell yeah and bring people in. If you think it's that easy and you're judging us harshly, then it only goes to show that you don't have enough information. I hate sounding like a condescending prick, but you've made your negative statements about our choice as if you know all the factors. Instead of trusting the fact that we've always tried to help people in the past, that we've been stalwart friends to those in need, you assume we've changed.

Here's the deal, people: there are more than two hundred sick people in Louisville. They need constant, round-the-clock care. They need to be fed, have fluids constantly pushed on them. They're vomiting, nauseous, and what little nourishment they keep down comes out of them in liquid form, meaning they need to be cleaned up.

And they don't have much in the way of resources. We do, but we're also feeding a larger number of extra mouths than normal and keeping much of what we grow in the form of preserves. You may or may not recall that there are a few thousand people moving here soon, and while they have a good reserve of food saved up, well, as Ned Stark said in Martin's classic work, "Winter is coming." We can't spare the huge amount of food it would take to care for all those sick people. We're already gonna be skirting the edge of starvation and making an enormous dent in the local edible critter population by Spring.

I get why you're all so angry. I get why you think we're being cold and heartless. You think we're being selfish by choosing to protect our own people and the huge positive change we're working on. You think we're choosing to go the safe route and continue on toward the expansion and migration rather than risk everything we've built to save human lives.

And you're right.

But do you seriously think we would just say no without measuring the risks? We fucking want to help, but the resources and manpower required would take half of all the people we have to manage it. Yes, I've done the math. Even with caregivers running with fifteen people apiece to care for--which is way too many for one person to handle when they're all total care--you've still got three shifts of people working nonstop in support positions, doing everything from preparing food to providing safety. Limiting the number of people contacting the sick people only reduces the exposure risk, it wouldn't eliminate it.

As for you specifically, Aaron...we haven't changed. We've had to make hard decisions before, as all survivors have. You might be glossing over the fact that all of us are killers. We've taken human lives before. None of us are innocent, fluffy little bunnies. You damn well know we're pragmatic and will ultimately protect ourselves. I don't want to hurt anyone if it can be helped, but the risks are too high. You don't run into a fully engulfed building with no fire gear on to rescue a person.

Yeah, it seems heroic and amazing, and it might be. But it's also suicidal and stupid. Risk assessment is a daily part of our lives, now. If the odds were even that we could pull this off without the Louisville sickness rampaging through here and risking everything and maybe killing more of us than we'd save in Louisville...well, I'd do it. We have to operate on what we can observe. This sickness seems to hit the majority of people it touches. Tackling it would weaken us and almost certainly kill a large number of the people trying to help.

So any of you out there who want to keep on being pissed, I sincerely support you in that. I'm mad at us about it too, and at the universe for putting us in this position. I don't blame you in the least for being angry.

But you know what? I don't see any of you running away from your families and communities to head to Louisville to practice what you preach, either. What, we should risk nearly certain destruction because we're close? If it's so wrong that we want to live and don't see any way to help and survive, then maybe you shouldn't let mere geography stop you.

No? Yeah, I noticed that yesterday. You're allies and friends, and I don't want to say these things. But you judge us, yet you don't suggest traveling here to do anything to help yourselves. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. I know this has gone on long as a post, but we are here. We're in the thick of the situation. It's our call to make. It sucks, no two ways about it.

And one last note, again to Aaron. You say if you weren't 600 miles away you'd volunteer to go to Louisville and help in a second. Funny how you accuse us of being selfish when you abandoned the people who saved your life, your community, for a wholly personal road trip. You were an integral part of New Haven. We saved you from death by zombie, and you left us to pursue your curiosity. Get off your goddamned high horse, because if you were here you might have a different perspective. But don't be a hypocrite.

All roads fork. We had two paths before us and we chose one, for better or worse.


  1. Feel better? All I know is this: people are going to die. Could it be helped? Could some be saved? It will come to you, being the closest. Is there any effort to find relief? No one talks about that. Squirrling away and hiding yourselves won't protect you and your loved ones. it will come. Is it an evolutionary process we will all face, or is it an environmental process. You know extreme heat does nothing to help the victims. so as a surviving community we ALL need to think of ways to combat this threat. Maybe extreme measures are needed. We know the ammonia bombs (for lack of a better word)kill the new zombies. What about LOW doses of ammonia inhaled ina very controlled environment. Yes extreme. Yes potentially deadly if too much is administered. But what choice can we have. I know this appears to be a ridiculous and reckless treatment option, but at the same time maybe it will trigger others to offer suggestions.
    I still support my statements yesterday, as well as Aaron's and all the others. I won't go into what I think or believe about your post today, Josh. Suffice it to say I am in a very small (less than 50) group of survivers in the high deserts of New Mexico. We don't have the means to travel 1500 miles to help. All we can do is vent our frustrations to you and NEw Haven. If we could come, a lot of us probably would. And remember, we base our comments only on what you post. We are not mind readers, so if you omit information, we can't know that.

  2. It's a hard decision to make Josh. It's hard, cruel, and a blow to the soul. But New Haven has so much going on right now, I can understand that in the grand scheme of things, this new threat has far more odds than benefits. Not to say you should do it for a benefit, but helping could destroy your entire lil town.

    @Anonymous above, your last line <"We are not mind readers, so if you omit information, we can't know that."> This holds more truth than you seem to realize. All of our communities out here hold back what we share, for a very good reason. Security. If New Haven was to share all their ins and outs, they would be more at risk than any of us.

    We need to take solace in the fact that New Haven even allows josh to post about them, its a very reassuring to know how other communities out there are doing, it's also reaffirming to know that every day is not lollipops and candy canes. There are hard decisions. New Haven didn't have to share this with us, but they did, and it's a grim reminder.

    @Josh, I know this sucks, but you also have a whole community to watch over, well, the council, but in my eyes it will always be your creation. Stay strong brother, trough the hard times and the good, New Haven stands tall.

  3. Well perhaps new haven can help with transportation so Aaron and others could volunteer to assist. Well all you critical commenters put up or shut up.

  4. Easy decisions are those that have few consequences. Personally, my compound probably would have made the same decision. It's not like you were flippant about your took the time to make it and did give the people of your community the option to assist if they wanted. I don't see what all the bitching is about. I don't think any of these people running you over the coals was ever faced with such a decision and I hope they never are because they would feel like total hypocrites when they think of their families and well being and say no after they put you through the wringer over the decision YOUR community made. Hard decisions are hard to make because of the consequences. I hope I am never put in a place to make that kind of decision, because in the communities human nature and survival instinct would kick in and probably make the same decision. However at the very least...I would consider closing off a section of the community (as far off as possible) and quarantine any future people coming in. And I would at the very least drop off supplies and aid a good distance from the community..maybe a midway point where you know if the virus is in fact geographic or environmental that you could safely leave the supplies and have them retrieve it (ugh, run on sentence much). The bottom line one should judge your decision until they feel the gravity of it. Things like providing aid was never in the denial of help...just no potential vector carrying. After working in Animal hospitals...I understand how easily illness can spread. And Josh, I know you have worked in hospital scenarios as well..and in a world where modern medicine is scarce..this initial denial for aid was a smart decision. But that is not to say it is a total denial of aid...more like putting up a wall before you install the doorways.