In an old sci fi book called Dune the hero uses it as a mantra. Fear is the mind killer. Maybe if more people had read that damned book there would be more of us left. It wasn't the walkers or the runners that did in humanity. It wasn't even really the virus. In the end it was fear. People loved to scare themselves, or have others do it. The media, movies, even all the news ran on high octane fear. Everybody thought a seance was fun until a real ghost showed up, then it wasn't a game anymore. I remember the first headline I saw on a news website that said "The Dead Walk". It was like they turned the whole world into "Day Of The Dead" part five, but nobody ever got their head wrapped around the problem or did the math. If people could have gotten on top of their fear and treated the Zeke's as a problem to be solved instead of a biblical plague, God's revenge on a fucked up human race, we could have gotten on top of it.
Campion's was a plague like the world had never seen, but what tore the heart from the world was the fear. Even a school girl can take down a walker if she's shown how, but instead of putting out accurate information the people in charge tried to keep a lid on things. There was never a cure, never a vaccine, but the government wanted to hold onto power and they used the fear to do it. Stay in your homes and we will save you. Let the grown ups handle it. And in the end when the virus burned through the cities, and the governments fell, those of us that were left had no real information. The enemy was some supernatural semi demon. Legendary, and larger than life. Instead of animated cadavers we turned them into minions of the devil and people lost their fucking minds. It took a long time for things to start to turn around.
Lately I have heard that people are starting to get back together in groups and outposts. We have ranged out from our home base and run into others that have learned to defend themselves and fight back. I remember feeling a sense of hope for the first time in a long time when a kid belonging to a group we trade with south of here was asked if he was scared. He shrugged, and with no bravado, or bluster, said calmly, "they are only Zombies."
Fuck yeah. That's right. They are only zombies. Not ninjas, not Fu Manchu, not the right hand of Satan. They are contagious, hyper aggressive, and dangerous, but they aren't indestructible or immortal. They are not magical. They are just zombies.