In most zombie apocalypse scenarios, a rogue virus goes astray and slowly begins to infect an unsuspecting population. The examples are too many to list: Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days Later. Just to name a few.
Even beyond zombies, we have stories of outbreaks like in The Crazies and I Am Legend, strange infections that cause people to change, to become something other than human.
But here in the real world, we’ve encountered a new “infection,” something that turns ordinary people into the crazed maniacs of myth.
Not An Undead Zombie, But Close Enough
“A witness described Eugene ripping at Poppo’s face with his mouth and growling at a Miami police officer who ordered him to get off the homeless man. The officer shot and killed Eugene.”
They’re not a virus or an infection. They’re a new “designer drug,” a synthetic stimulant not to be confused with your ordinary bath or Epsom salts. These are hard drugs, and apparently they’re a growing problem.
Of course, normal “hard” drugs can cause a myriad of symptoms — psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, extreme aggression. Bath salts in particular lead people to believe they are invincible, inhuman. But recently we’ve heard several reports of inexplicable cannibalism, something well beyond the effects of usual drugs.
Consider the following:
- A 31-year-old man stripped naked and attacked a homeless man on the Miami Causeway. The attacker was inevitably shot and killed by police, while the victim is alive but horribly disfigured, missing an ear, an eye, as well as lips.
- In Maryland, a 21-year-old student attending Morgan State University murdered his roommate and ate his heart and brain. The victim’s head, as well as two hands, were found “in a metal tin in the basement.”
- In Louisiana, a man was doing yard work when suddenly he was attacked by his neighbor, who bit off a chunk of his face.
- In Pennsylvania, a panicked man broke into a house because he thought he was being chased by electricity.
In each of these cases, bath salts are believed to be the cause.
Governments are attempting to permanently ban the drug (they’ve already banned certain components of it), while several states in the U.S. have already taken measures against it.
It’s becoming a very serious problem, and even paramedics are having difficulty responding to these incidents. Those “infected” with bath salts don’t hesitate to lash out and attack them, as well.
Perhaps this isn’t a “zombie outbreak,” but it’s easy to see why the media has latched on to the idea. A
rose zombie by any other name, as they say.