A history of the Evergreen outbreak and general undead awareness

ALWAYS think of the children FIRST!

We now know it all started with Monsainto. It is ironic that amidst all the political hoopla over the labeling of genetically modified foods, that it really began with a non-food product. Evergreen SelfMowing (R) lawn care products would not have been the first suspect for the outbreak that took down nearly 85% of the human race, but such events rarely come from a direction that anyone would expect.

It really was a brilliant idea pitched exactly perfectly to appeal to modern suburban Americans. A lawn that needs no fertilizer, almost no water, stays green even when the plants are technically dead, and best of all… literally mows itself. Grass treated with Evergreen remains in a state of almost suspended animation even when what would normally be read as “life” in the plant has ceased. The blades stay green and supple in the absence of water, or any care whatsoever. The blades of the grass also subtly saw at one another, wearing down the topmost portions, and creating a self sustaining mulch. So long as the plant is able to feed off of this mulch it will continue to stay green and grow at a suppressed rate which is perfectly balanced to offset the loss from the sawing. The end result is a perfectly self sustaining lawn, green and lush, without any effort on the part of the homeowner beyond very infrequent applications of the Evergreen product.

This miracle of modern time saving was achieved through the use of a virus. The virus was specifically designed to only affect grass varieties developed by Monsainto. In reality this was to ensure that the consumer could only use the product in conjunction with other Monsainto products, but it was advertised as a safety measure. The Evergreen product (The word virus was NEVER used in advertising, or in fact even internally. This policy was strictly enforced, and the effects can be seen in the personnel records of some members of the development team who were fined and placed on disciplinary warning after it was learned that they had nicknamed the product “zombie grass”.) was designed to be completely inert outside of about half a dozen strains of lawn grass, all of which were completely controlled by the company.

There have been accusations that the product was not adequately tested, but in fact this is untrue. Both the raw product, and grasses treated with it, underwent a rigorous testing procedure in which it was determined that there was no effect on any other life form, animal or vegetable. The smallest child could roll naked on an Evergreen treated lawn and eat handfulls of grass without the slightest consequence. Fieldmice could make their homes in the grass and never suffer in the slightest. Compared to conventional chemical lawn treatments, Evergreen was a breakthrough for health and safety. Additionally, since the life cycle of the grasses was limited, allergy sufferers were less likely to be subjected to pollens. In many states Evergreen was advertised as a “green” alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and to be fair to the company, it is very likely that they believed this to be true.

Epidemiologists have now spent years backtracking the exact source of the epidemic, and the infection vector is extremely complex. In the beginning the problem stemmed from just one variety of Kentucky bluegrass which was designed to be susceptible to the Evergreen virus. Unlike the other grasses developed for use with Evergreen, the bluegrass was genetically very close to a more conventionally used variety. The conventional bluegrass used for lawns was not, in fact, identical to the wild variety, but it was close. Some years back when wild Kentucky bluegrass strains began to die out, a program of replanting was enacted wherein hikers and conservationists would reseed the wild grasslands. This reseeding was supposed to be done with only the wild strain, but due to lax enforcement, and a great deal of public ignorance, much of the reseeded area was filled with grasses which had been bred for domestic use. The wild varieties subsequently interbred with the domestic to the point where most “wild” Kentucky bluegrass was in fact very close to what people used in their lawns and sports arenas. The Evergreen susceptible bluegrass was not identical to either the wild bluegrass or the conventional variety, but it was unfortunately close. Much too close.

It is fair to say that, in nearly all cases, the Evergreen virus worked exactly as it was designed to do. So far as the epidemiologists have been able to determine the virus was only able to successfully spread to the native grass population in one area of Kentucky, encompassing an area of at most three contiguous counties. From there the outbreak has been traced to a single free range cattle operation. It appears that the alimentary tract of ungulates provides an optimum environment for mutation of the Evergreen virus. Whereas it has not been shown that the virus entered the bloodstream or tissues of the cattle, the viral load in the feces of cattle feeding on infected grasses has been seen to be both concentrated and varied as regards to strain. Infected feces in turn served to reinfect the grasses with new viral varieties, which were then consumed by the cattle. It has been shown that at its epicenter there were no fewer than 2000 genetically different strains of the Evergreen virus present in the infected grasslands.

For some time epidemiologists were stymied as to how the virus continued on its migratory route, as it is clear that the cattle were not themselves affected by the virus, nor was their meat a vector of contagion. In fact, it was the infected feces, sold as manure to another local farmer, which allowed the Evergreen virus to move on to its next host. The XXX cattle ranch did a small scale local business selling manure to other organic farmers, which is how the virus moved to the ZZZ farm. The infected manure was used on a variety of crops, most of which were not susceptible. The one exception was a small patch of heirloom corn. The virus did not affect the corn to the degree that it did lawn or field grasses, but it did visibly change the appearance of the kernels themselves. The farmer was not able to sell the crop, so kept it to use as a feed for his hogs.

It is still not clear what caused the virus to make the critical jump from a vegetable host to swine, but like so many viral diseases of the past, this proved to be the crucial, and ultimately fatal, factor. As only a single hog has been shown to have been stricken, it is likely that the virus mutated to its contagious form within that animal.

It was reported to be midafternoon when the farmer (who we will call Jones) noticed that one of his hogs appeared aggressive. Jones attempted to segregate the hog and was bitten in the process. He then went on to immediately slaughter and butcher the animal, as he was actively breeding for a docile strain. Hospital records show that Jones reported becoming somewhat ill afterward, and that he initially suspected a case of swine flu. This was shown not to be the case, and he recovered quickly. Several weeks later Jones fell ill a second time. Initial symptoms included a high fever, agitation, disorientation, and finally, aggressive biting. It is to be noted that Mr. Jones did NOT fall into the classic coma followed by the state we have come to call “walking dead”. He did, however, bite several family members and emergency staff. Thirty-six hours after the onset of symptoms Mr. Jones died. He did NOT reanimate, and is not considered to be patient zero.

It is to be noted for epidemiological purposes that none of the emergency staff who were bitten became ill. Of the four family members who were bitten, three became ill, and of those three, two did not prove to be themselves contagious. It has been hypothesized that both Jones’ secondary illness and the susceptibility of the the family members can be traced to eating the meat of the infected hog. In Jones the combination of the previous infection, and consumption of the infected meat, led to a fatal and aggressive illness which was not itself generally contagious. Family members who were both bitten and infected by consumption of the meat were mostly susceptible to the virus, but in only one case did the virus mutate enough to prove generally contagious.

It is a sad set of circumstances that led that single infectious family member to cause such a widespread and lethal outbreak. It is now known that the progress of the disease in children is much, much faster than in adults. Most adults sicken gradually over a period of days, ultimately falling into a coma with resultant death and reanimation. In some cases this can take up to three weeks. In children symptoms appear suddenly, generally only a day or so after infection, and are characterized by sudden convulsions similar to a grand mal seizure, followed by a coma which can last only a matter of minutes before the onset of fully aggressive reanimation. Newly reanimated children are also faster and far more aggressive than adult victims, moving quickly into what we now call “demon frenzy mode”. It is therefore particularly unfortunate that Patient Zero proved to be a seven year old girl.

Although the mother and two brothers of Patient Zero were also bitten by Mr. Jones, none of the family had yet shown any symptoms when the girl was sent to school to attend her second grade class, in an attempt by Mrs. Jones to maintain a “sense of normality” for the children in the family. It proved to be the case that her ten year old brother never developed any symptoms at all, while her fourteen year old brother and mother became ill much more gradually. All three were at that point in strict quarantine, but the damage had already been done. It is reported that Patient Zero went from a state of apparent normality to a full on biting frenzy in a matter of minutes. In the end no fewer than 37 people were bitten, 21 of whom were also children.

It has been widely reported that public health officials were slow to respond in an adequate fashion. It is true that although the remaining members of the Jones family were isolated shortly after the school incident, there was not adequate political will to remove 21 small children from their families absent any real understanding of the disease or its vectors of contagion. It has also been shown again and again with harrowing result the reluctance of family members to report, or adequately put down, infected children. Hindsight is always 20/20, but even with full current knowledge of the plague there continue to be reports of families hiding infected members against a vain hope of a future cure. That this is much more likely to be the case with small children, and that infected children are so much more lethal than adults, is perhaps the greatest tragedy and challenge to public health and security services.

Therefore it is our hope that this pamphlet will serve not only to educate our remaining population as to the history of the zombie plague, but will also serve as a warning to all those who may be tempted to try to shelter a zombie in our midst. Particularly a child. Remember, children are only our future WHEN THEY DON’T BITE! Please put ALL family members down at the first sign of infection, but particularly the children. A quick blow to the head is generally enough to shatter a small skull, and any sharp object can quickly penetrate an unfused fontanelle. Frenzied gumming may SEEM cute and harmless, but small gums wear down to bone quickly and can render a deadly bite. Also it has been shown that infant saliva carries a particularly heavy viral load. Let caution be your watchword.

Published by the Concerned Citizens for Zombie Awareness and Eradication.

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