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Delivering Sahuaro's Cutting Edge News & Saving Trees

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Delivering Sahuaro's Cutting Edge News & Saving Trees

The Paper Cut


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Zombie Apocalypse: Fiction or Potential Reality?


In recent years, the concept of a zombie apocalypse has captured the attention of many, fueled by popular culture in movies, TV shows, and books. To many, it may seem like pure fiction, but some argue that a zombie apocalypse could be a plausible scenario. The idea of an apocalypse typically involves a global pandemic that turns people into flesh-eating creatures. While the likelihood of a virus or contagion causing such drastic effects on the world is low, scientists acknowledge the possibility of a viral outbreak with severe consequences. Diseases like Ebola and certain strains of influenza have demonstrated the potential for rapid spread and high mortality rates, although without the zombification element.

One potential source for a zombie-like scenario is the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateral, which infects ants and takes control of their behavior. The fungus manipulates the ant into climbing vegetation, where it eventually dies, allowing the fungus into its spores, which are reproductive cells. While this phenomenon occurs in insects, not humans, it raises questions about the potential for parasites to influence behaviors. In the popular post-apocalyptic video game “The Last of Us” (TLOU), cordyceps infect humans, turning them into aggressive, zombie-like creatures. Although Cordyceps in TLOU are exaggerated, it raises more questions about the potential consequences of nature’s aspects.

In addition, neuroscientists have studied conditions like prion diseases that affect the brain and can lead to abnormal behavior. Although prion diseases are rare and don’t turn people into zombies, they highlight the complex relationship between brain function and behavior. Even so, there is no scientific evidence that a full-fledged zombie apocalypse could happen, but the concept has prompted discussions and emergency preparation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even used the zombie apocalypse as a creative way to encourage people to prepare for more realistic emergencies, which provides tips on building emergency kits and staying informed during crises.

In conclusion, while the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse happening is low, the idea has sparked interesting discussions about real-world emergency preparation. Viral outbreaks and infectious diseases are genuine threats that require attention and preparation, and the zombie narrative serves as a creative way to engage the public in conversations about the importance of being prepared for unexpected emergencies. So, while a zombie apocalypse may remain firmly categorized as fiction, the lessons it teaches about preparedness are undeniably relevant in our world.

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About the Contributor
Tatum Crawford
Tatum Crawford, Editor

Tatum Crawford is a junior at Sahuaro High School. She joined The Paper Cut to grow her social and writing skills. When she graduates, she wants to move to Seattle with her older sister. Her dream college is the University of Washington, and she wants to go into the medical field. She likes to listen to music and read in her free time. She loves playing with her two cats and bonding with them. She enjoys traveling and sightseeing. Her favorite places she's been to are Milan and Florence; she loved the food and the art. She loves art museums, her favorite ones being the Louvre and the Uffizi Gallery.  She loves anything blue, as it's her favorite color. She has multiple pieces of blue jewelry she wears every day. She also likes playing games, her favorites being Animal Crossing and Legend Of Zelda. She loves taking pictures; she has over 30,000 photos on her phone, most of them being travel and cat photos. Her favorite place to visit is Seattle, Washington. There, she loves to visit her sister and go to the local aquarium. She also loves going to Japan Town in Seattle for the food and shopping. She also loves making keychains and phone charms as gifts for her friends and family.

Family is also super important to her. She loves visiting her family in Mississippi, and she enjoys spending time with them. She does many vacations with her mom, and they are super close because it was only the two of them for twelve years; that was the only family that was closest to her. She has family scattered all around the world, including eighteen siblings. She only knows about four of them but would be interested in meeting the rest. Out of all of them, she is the youngest, as all of them are in their late twenties.

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