Contributing author Alfredo Torres is an adjunct professor of communications at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA where he wrote his master’s thesis on the metaphoric representation of zombies in the films of George Romero.

How pop culture will get us all killed. (Part 3)

The new season of The Walking Dead is off and running, and the fourth season has kicked off with a bang!  Not only with new characters and some nice plot twists, but also with some great zombie action.  Of course, with each zombie encounter the show misses the opportunity to pass on information that can be put to actual use during a zombie apocalypse. Case in point; Bob and the crack head zombie.

During the scene in question, new character Bob is trapped under some store shelving that had fallen on him.  While struggling to get out from underneath, he notices a zombie crawling toward him.  As the zombie moves closer for what should be an easy meal, Bob reaches out in desperation and digs his fingers into the exposed cranial area of the ghoul, thereby disposing of the oncoming crawling death.

However, in dispatching of the zombie, Bob assured himself of instant infection.  By jamming his unprotected fingers inside the zombie’s exposed brain, he possibly introduced infected fluids into his own bloodstream through any cuticle or possible cracks in his skin.  The better action would have been to stick one of the broken wine bottles that had fallen close to him into the skull of the oncoming zombie.

Anyone who has worked with their hands understands what I am talking about.  Manual labor (of which there will be plenty during the zombie apocalypse) does quite a number on the hands; creating cuts and cracks in the skin which will be an easy way to catch any number of infections, diseases and of course… the zombie virus itself.  By sticking your unprotected hand into any part of a walking cadaver, you are essentially insuring some kind of infection; which cannot bode well in a world where antibiotics are in short supply.

When going out in a post-apocalyptic world, rubber gloves should always be worn underneath a set of leather gloves.  The leather gloves will provide protection from the debris in which you will be forging, while the rubber gloves will prevent inflected fluids from entering the bloodstream.

Remember; “no glove, no love of yourself” should be the rule, regardless of where you are and who you are with!


  1. Staying with Walking dead there is a detail that has not been addressed. When a person is bitten by a zombie they turn even when the bite is not fatal. Therefore there seems to be something else related to zombie bites in the Walking dead that is infectious and to me would validate this original article.

  2. Ok I agree with you about wearing gloves when out in that world working other then wearing rubber gloves under leather your hands get vary hot that way inless your working with water. But you forgot they already explained before that everybody already has the zombie virus and the zombie virus is really the only contagions in the zombie as it kills any other in its hosts body to slow down so they don’t have to worry about getting anything from them anymore

  3. Thank you both for entering into a discussion with me. Please remember the title of the article is how pop culture will kill us not is the Walking Dead an accurate depiction of a zombie outbreak. While the Walking Dead scenario includes the world’s population already infected and death as the way to turn, we don’t know that is the way it would work in the real world do we? Remember that also there are also a number of other diseases that someone could be exposed to that could also bring about death. The point about Bob killing the zombie or not (I honestly reviewed the film a couple of times and it looks like Bob is the one who does kill him, but I can be wrong) is irrelevant The point of interest in the scene is that he dug his exposed fingers into the skull, there by exposing himself to countless other possible diseases and infections.

    • Hey Alfredo, I agree with you about the basic point about gloves and infection, especially given what we’ve seen so far in this season of the Walking Dead. I think using the Walking Dead was just a bad example. As to Bob, maybe you are right, I remembered Daryl saving him. The only reason I mentioned it was because as I saw it live I did not think he was trying to kill the zombie, just keep him away. But yes, it was an irrelevant detail to this discussion. Sorry.

      • No need to apologize my friend. It is all about the discussion. The problem with posting is that sometimes the little things are lost in the words because we cannot’ read tone, inflection or any of the other things we get when we speak in person. I love discussing the things I write. I just hate writing lol

  4. I’m curious whether or not the author missed seasons 1 and 2? Rick revealed that Dr Jenner of the CDC told him that everyone is already infected with the virus that causes reanimation. The problem with this theory of wearing gloves and masks to prevent the zombie virus from spreading is that it doesn’t matter how you die, you will turn into a zombie regardless of perceived exposure. The zombie virus isn’t what kills you. Much like HIV patients, the characters of the show live relatively healthy lives until an illness or secondary infection causes death. With HIV it becomes AIDS and is unfortunately a reality, however in the fictional universe of The Walking Dead series the progression of all fatal health problems is going to be full blown zombie-ism.

    • You are exactly right Terri. The Walking Dead universe has established that only severe bites will turn a person. Obviously in a world where we are not all infected, gloves are still a good idea. Also, the author makes one other minor mistake. While Bob does indeed start putting his fingers into the walker’s cracked face, he is unable to get his fingers into the brain, or deep enough. It is actually Daryl who kills the walker to save Bob.

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