Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Summer 2020- Pot Luck – Z-Day UK and COVID-19 by Pranav Lal

This the second post from photographer and writer Pranav Lal and this week he reflects on how some fiction might over offer tips on survival skills  should a pandemic such as Covid-19 eventually overwhelm the world. (I feel relatively safe sharing this post as most of our countries lift their restrictions, but sounds like a useful survival manual).

Z-Day UK and COVID-19 by Pranav Lal

Z-DAY UK by [Mark Long, Shane Feazell]

Many of you reading this post are in lock down which means moving out of your house is severely restricted. I should pause and ask how many of you think I am going to talk about what to do?

There is plenty of advice out there on what to do. One thing I was doing was rereading Z-Day UK by Mark Long. Mr. Long’s book deals with a zombie apocalypse situation where a virus begins to make ordinary humans zombies. This is not as far fetched as it may seem. I am not talking about COVID-19 here. The agent per SE does not matter.

As of this writing, people are not zombies nor is law and order breaking down at least for now. I have been thinking about what happens once the lock down is lifted. We need to maintain social distance. People are not going to attack us but there is that 2 meter gap that we should maintain else risk being infected. There are valuable lessons in the book that we can adapt to this situation.

The easiest lesson to apply is the bit about staying covered. What should I wear? Admittedly, military grade equipment as suggested in some parts of the book is hard to come by but one should aim for getting the best protective equipment as far as possible. Think motor cycle leathers.

One of the first chapters in the book is about building a base of operations. I am in India and have been thinking about this very hard. The cities are crowded but so are the villages. Think of all the migrants moving back to the villages. As the book says, you do not want to be stuck when the exodus begins. I do not have any firm answers. May be a farm in the suburbs?

The countryside is actually a better choice but again, the India context is a little different due to our population density. I plan to read chapter 11 that goes into details before buying any property. Transportation too is a consideration. We have plenty of bicycles and they are not hard to get. We can get quite far on them. Tractors are also easy to get and I suspect the venerable Mahindra tractor should do the job; not that we need to run away from people just now.

The next question is of skills. This is a particular issue for those of us who use the computer as a means of livelihood like programmers, cyber security professionals etc. We are working from home and our work is uniquely suited to such a near 100% digital setup but in the event we do have to move away from the Internet, what hard skill can we acquire? First aid comes to mind for one thing and so does carpentry and cooking. These skills are handy to have in any case.

There is a significant amount of space devoted to heating and using older houses as they are better adapted to handle a lack of electricity. Indian conditions vary widely but we do have plenty of wood and coal burning stoves which we will have to go back to. Fuel does not last.

Creating a defensible area though is a challenge especially in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Flat land does not make for easily defensible territory. However, it is a question worth considering especially if you plan to create a permanent base.

There is much much more in the book and it has been brought into sharp relevance for me thanks to COVID-19. My favorite section is on libraries and the storage of knowledge. If we do enter the world Mr. Long has described or get close to one, please do not forget this aspect.

The book is available: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

©Pranav Lal April 2020

About Pranav Lal

Pranav Lal is a short story and novella writer based out of New Delhi, India and the author of seven books.  These include the Telekinesis Trilogy series – Telekinesis (2015), Led Weight (2018), and Cult 2019 ; Venture Capital (2015), In Case of Emergency (2015), Julia (2015), and the audio enabled comic book Bakasura (2016).

Pranav is blind and that makes him put his characters through tough and complex situations.  He imagines how one would think, process, evaluate, and take decisions, and see the effects of those playing out – the cycle of Karma and Dharma.  He also likes to read the New Scientist, Scientific American, Science Direct – magazines that focus on the shape of technology and its effects on humankind.  And this provides him the opportunity to explore different concepts, especially in science, with a common underlying theme – human psychology.

The components of the vOICe (Picture credit Caltech)
Pranav is an avid photographer – To share his sense of vision with others, Pranav started blogging (his blog is called Techesoterica.com). Around this time, he was introduced to what he calls his “artificial eye,” an augmented reality device called vOICe (OIC stands for ‘oh I see’). The brainchild of Dutch inventor Peter Meijer, vOICe is a vision technology that converts images to sound. Read more: Your Story – Pranav Lal

Pranav also writes non-fiction and has been  featured in print, news, and on other media platforms. He works in a multinational corporation.

The flower market in his neighbourhood gets a fresh look in his pictures.

Connect to Pranav: Website: Techesoteric –  Facebook: Pranav Lal – Twitter:  @PranavLal – Writing Blog: Pranav writes

 

Thank you for dropping by and Pranav would love to have your feedback . thanks Sally.

13 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Summer 2020- Pot Luck – Z-Day UK and COVID-19 by Pranav Lal

  1. Hi all, Z-Day is not a fiction book. It is non-fiction and the author has done a significant deal of research during writing it. The scenario is indeed speculative but it could happen and the tips are spot on at least for the UK. There is also a USA addition of the book. I have forwarded the notification message to Mr. Long so I am hoping he comes on here and shares his thoughts. Sally, once again, many thanks for featuring this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for sharing your knowledge from the book, Pranav. It does seem that people are taking a more serious look at the basic needs for survival, not necessarily for the utter breakdown of civilization, but for weeks or months at a time. We keep extra food and fuel and expanded our garden, for example. I like how covid-19 informed your opinion of the information. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up -August 30th – September 5th 2020 – #Jazz Geri Allen, Quince and Quesadillas, Life Changing Moments, books, reviews and funnies. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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