Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Part 1. Warnings; Chapter 3, Stanley MacDonald
Stanley MacDonald, veteran soldier of Canada’s army, first witnessed a “zombie” in Kyrgyzstan. Strangely enough, the transport from Nury’s account carrying Armani-man was headed for this same area. Stanley seems like a good man and a good soldier, helping to stamp out world terrorism’s financial support – drugs.
He reveals a macabre story. Following some massacre a lone survivor must have managed to escape. Stanley describes following the blood trail, the spot where the tracks inexplicably and radically change, the same spot where a right Nike shoe is found.
The trail leads to a cave. Carnage and mayhem are all that Stanley’s troop find. A one-sided fire fight, men succumbing to their own booby traps. They must have fled in panic to do so, a huge scramble to escape the atrocities against nature going on inside the cave. What Stanley describes is nothing short of a blood bath. His descriptions are not graphic by any means but the mind unhelpfully provides the necessary missing information.
It is after Stanley leaves the medical unit, where the left Nike shoe is found, that the soldier meets his first zombie.
He thought he was helping a survivor, but survivors have never been known to try and eat their rescuer.
A single shot to the head and the bewildered soldier is free from the clutches of the infected person.
Unfortunately, as Stanley was the only witness to this he then has to cope with his home country’s way of denying what he saw.
PTSD, exposure to chemical agents and other fancy plausible causes, because who could believe that the dead should try to consume the living. Stanley’s subsequent “evaluation” must have been seriously damaging to his psyche.
It is only interrogation when it is the enemy
How thoroughly alone he must have felt, knowing what he saw and believing his superiors really are trying to help him, not realising that there really is nothing wrong him.
The former doctor Fernando Oliveira, tells a very different story from his new home in the Amazon rain forest. A more disturbing story. Of infected organs being transplanted into uninfected patients, neither patient or doctor suspecting the danger.
During this interview, Fernando explains about acquiring a very rare heart for his patient. Most of the medical narrative is a bit bit beyond me but I get the overall picture.
The patient, Herr Muller, survives the operation but there are a complications. The lead surgeon, Dr. Silva, isn’t worried, explaining it away as a a reaction to the drugs and massive trauma but Dr. Oliveira isn’t so sure.
His doubts bear fruits later on and Herr Huller dies, re-animates and attacks Dr. Silva. The nurses, having witnessed the event while helping to resuscitate Muller, wisely vacate & seal the room. Fernando, who owns a showy pistol, accidentally (and luckily) shoots Muller in the head and then allows the authorities to help him cover-up the incident.
He explains the procedure of organ transplants in Rio at that time.
For a liver transplant, that liver would be cross-matched and then tested for all manner of possible infections & defects before it would be classified as acceptable. Even the “cash cow” of unregulated organ donations might be tested but a new virus, such as a re-animating zombifying virus, how could you test for that. How would you even know what to look for.
What is truly frightening is Fernando’s supposition that many of the early infections may have been the result of an infected organ.
Herr Muller’s heart infected the entire body in a matter of hours. A liver may take days or weeks. Your loved one has returned home from the hospital, only to succumb to the zombie plague when you thought life had returned to normal.
How about a skin graft, could take a month. Maybe two, depending on the size of the graft.
Fernando makes a plausible point. Just how many infected organs were responsible for sudden outbreaks across the world. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind and I don’t remember this account from my first sitting with the audio book.
A bite mark is visible. Tangible even. Fleeing refugees can be questioned, examined and quarantined.
The zombie virus has very few first signs, on a person who has no bite marks and say, born, raised and perhaps well known in their neighbourhood would become a zombie without warning. And at this stage of WWZ, very few people are even open to the ramifications this virus presents. Governments in particular are unwilling to do much of anything until the wolf is at the door. Yet their citizens keep paying them.
On a side note, the Yanomami, or “The Fierce People” sound interesting even though Max, the interviewer, doesn’t actually speak to any of them regarding the Zombie War.
Why did Oliveira choose to reside with them, if in fact he got to choose at all. The Yanomami seem intact and unaffected from the plague. I wonder if it reached them at all and if not, it’s a great advertisement for their “simple” way of life compared to today’s sprawling metropolis’. A natural defence against a global infection. I wonder how many pockets of so called backward folk (to the ego sensitive modern people) escaped the plague or even any knowledge of it’s existence.