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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:37 am
by DannusMaximus
ZombieGranny wrote:The Middle Ages (plague years) body disposal -
http://www.william-shakespeare.info/bub ... an-era.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Interesting link, ZG. Thanks for that.

Based on the article it looks like people tried to bury their dead in mass graves, at least until the mortality rate grew so high that it became almost impossible to find people left that were able/willing to dispose of the dead. Seems reasonable that a similar pattern would emerge if such a thing happened today.

Concur with Shrapnel that not everybody is going to drop dead all at once in a big heap, even from an extremely virulent doomplague or other disaster. With modern earthmoving equipment and vehicles (and protective gear that would enable people to work around corpses with less fear of dying themselves), we as a society could keep up with even a fairly rapid die off. I don't think that a lone survivor would be confronted with tens of thousands of corpses stacked in the streets. If anything, I suspect that as the ability to deal with the mass graves was reduced then people would just end up being left in their houses where they died. A person dissolving or mummifying in their house is not a public health danger as far as I know.

SO, by the time society has broken down so much that we can no longer keep up with body disposal, it will be a moot point because A) the bulk of the die-offs will already have occurred and the bodies will have been disposed of, and B) the remaining bodies can be left in their homes/tombs with little risk of causing problems to all the ZS members who have survived to inherit the earth...

Man. That was easy! 8-)

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:46 am
by cauldron
ZombieGranny wrote:The Middle Ages (plague years) body disposal -
http://www.william-shakespeare.info/bub ... an-era.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Nice site and very cool. Seems they paid well to have people haul off the bodies to open pits 20 feet deep.
People that stole from the dead bodies were sometimes thrown into the pits. Alive.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:13 am
by raptor
shrapnel wrote: I really think that you want insects. Without them, you're just going to prolong the process. Sure, bury anyone who died right next to your house, but insects, particularly in climates like you and I live in, will make everything wet disappear in a very short time. It's a good thing. The gross stuff will be all gone, rather than just hiding until something larger uncovers the dirt and starts the whole process up again. Circle of life, kumbayah, and so forth.
Good point.

The reason I was thinking about insects is because they can be huge disease vectors. The flies would see a population explosion that would make life miserable. Decomposition occurs as a result of several things and can occur quickly even without insects present. I honestly would be worried more about this insect population due to the disease vector issue than the bodies themselves. That and the odor and morale issue of being surrounded by corpses. Hence my preference to get the bodies out of sight and scent range. Again this opinion and should not be considered fact
shrapnel wrote: Regardless, the other issue that I would think of with the front end loader idea (which is for the most part a very good one), is that I wouldn't think that everyone would have died all together in a bunch. In basically any scenario I can think of that isn't a deliberate execution, there are going to be bodies, mostly in houses or in sheltered areas, all over the place, in ones and twos. I mean, there might be clumps of them here and there, and that's when earthmoving equipment would really shine, but mostly I would think it would be singles. You'd waste a lot of fuel going from place to place, picking them up one at a time (maybe? What sort of mileage do backhoes get?), going back to your trench, dropping them off, finding the next one, going to it... It just seems like a gigantic waste.


I'm not trying to be overly argumentative, and if it is coming off like I am, please let me know. :)
That is also a good point. I was think of a Hollywood type situation with mass casualties where I was simply "cleaning up" around my AO. I would use the front end loader to pick up the corpses and transport them to the burial site.

From a personal standpoint bodies that I did not see like in a house I would leave them alone and where they lie.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:42 am
by Chef
Removing the bodies some distance and enacting some sort of survivor taboo about going close to the corpse heap would probably be the best way to minimize smell and disease transmission via flies. It'd be sort of like keeping the privy a good distance away from living areas. Also seems like an exposed cadaver midden would be the most efficient way to mitigate the problem. Survivors will be plenty busy attempting to prolong their survival window without expending the effort needed to create and maintain pyres or mass graves, and the deceased could molder at their leisure without bothering anyone else. "Let the dead bury the dead" and so forth.

It'd be a good idea to use some sort of fly bait (Malrin is a good brand, we use it in the restaurant industry all the time) to keep corpse-fattened blowflies away from living and food prep areas.

ETA:

"Plague Doctor" would be a really creepy Halloween costume... especially if you went all out and made a toad/blood amulet and packed the beak with fragrant herbs.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:50 am
by Gingerbread Man
Excellent point chef. We had a fly problem a few years back because of a dead something attracting them. I couldn't find the dead thing so I placed 4 big fly bags around, they were full in three days but the fly invasion ceased.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:03 pm
by azrael99
do you know, there is a really cheap way to make fly trap, that actually work ?

try to pour some molasse in a small plate that you don't mind to get dirty (believe me, it hard to clean a place full of molasse and fly)

we had a problem of fruit fly in the house, and i tried that trick , within 2 days , every fly were caught

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:18 pm
by ZombieGranny
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:26 pm
by Chef
I discovered that ammonia works to kill bar flies. I'm presuming they are attracted to it's uriney aroma and then overcome by the fumes?

But yeah, I think sanitation and pest control would be a much bigger issue that many "modern, civilized" people take for granted and are utterly unprepared for. Might even CAUSE giant piles of corpses as well as be fueled by them.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:01 pm
by raptor
Chef wrote: But yeah, I think sanitation and pest control would be a much bigger issue that many "modern, civilized" people take for granted and are utterly unprepared for. Might even CAUSE giant piles of corpses as well as be fueled by them.
Again this only opinion. I think that in the event of a PAW diseases caused by sanitation issues will be a much larger issue than most imagine. I base this upon the natural disaster in places like Haiti. Sewerage treatment and trash pickup will cease, the water supplies then get contaminated and the next thing you know you get diarrhea and/or food poisoning. This causes you to consume more contaminated water to avoid dehydration and becomes a vicious circle.

In a PAW situation, sanitation, insect control and disease vector control would be my top priority.

Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:43 am
by DrJack
I agree a lot with Raptor on the field san side of things. Just because you're clean doesn't mean the guy upstream is.

As far a the bodies, many will die in family units in their own homes. I'm not worried about them.

However depending on the speed at which all these people are dying they are apt to congregate at churches/gyms/hospitals/schools/etc. Places that will be resource distribution centers. After I come out of the bunker, I'll likely want whatever I can legally acquire from these places and may be confronted with hundreds (thousands?) of corpses in and around places I want to....well....shop.

My family are farm folk, so...yes we have things like front end loaders and lots of caustic chemicals just laying around. I'm certain I could get my hands on larger equipment if needed too and fumble my way through the controls.

As for the decomposition process, my understanding is a HUGE portion of it takes place from the natural acids and fauna inside your stomach and intestines. (We digest ourselves postmortem)

Dumptrucks and the city landfill may be a smart way to go...