I had watched the Nursing home complex for two nights and had only seen the one walker, "Suzy". I had some experience with walkers, and knew that they could be deceptive in their speed and strength. I was going to be very careful in the encounter I had planned for Suzy, as I knew that only a fool underestimates an enemy. Many people had died behind the idea that they knew what a walker could do. In a situation where a bite, or a scratch, of even contact with raw skin or a drop of cast off goo in your eye, could spell a certain prolonged death, a smart man didn't take chances.
I had watched in the early days of the burn through as studly young dudes, styling themselves "slayers" had gone into the hot zones to return spattered with their victims blood. They damn sure presented a heroic picture, brandishing their assault rifles, and bloodied swords and axes. None had survived three days, and most took their loved ones with them. None had understood the nature of a contact contagion, or that just because a virus is not airborne doesn't mean you have to get bitten in the throat to catch it. I knew from the hospital days that some of the resistant strains of diseases that were breeding in long term care facilities and nursing homes could survive and remain viable for long periods on contaminated objects and surfaces. They had developed resistance to all antibiotics. These were mostly caused by bacteria, but I saw no reason why viruses should be any more human friendly. Viruses were even quicker to change and adapt, mutating over the course of an epidemic to facilitate spread. Many of those who went out to "kick undead ass", and loot the nearby towns for resources, never knew what killed them. Some never saw a zombie. The virus, waiting patiently on a broken window shard, or on the whiskey bottle in an infected home, didn't need a visible open wound. The fact was there was no hard data on the contact contagion. The CDC, prior to it's collapse, had tried to put a brave face on things. As of now you knew you didn't want to get bitten or scratched, after that it was up for grabs.
I had instituted basic contact isolation procedures at home. That had been simple, as I had frequently come home from work after taking care of contagious people and I was no stranger to getting undressed on the porch. What was trickier was finding ways to stay safe in an infected environment like the towns. You had both the virus and the zombies to contend with. A contact plague wrapped in a gang fight. We had developed the armor we wore when it became clear the the medical Tyvek coveralls I had stock piled from work weren't going to save you during a blitz attack from a walker you hadn't seen coming. It was light, fiberglass over automotive gasket cloth, provided good facial and upper body protection, and could be rinsed in bleach solution. Getting in and out of it by yourself took practice, but it was doable. It would save you from a first rush, and give you time to escape or fight, but it was just a tool and didn't make you zombie proof. The best weapon had proved to be mobility, maneuverability, and the common sense not to place oneself in harms way.
In the present situation I had little choice. I was going to have to draw the walker into the open, immobilize it, and collect my samples. I would then have to enter the actual facility to attempt to find some accurate record regarding Suzy. I had no idea what I would find in that building but I was preparing for something horrible. Those beds had been filled with living people. I could only imagine what had happened in there when the infection had set in. This was setting up to be a very grim day.