For years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been using the popularity of The Walking Dead and other zombie-centric media to sell the public on disaster preparedness by encouraging Americans to stock up like an actual zombie apocalypse is on the way. And while -- as makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero would be the first to admit -- The Walking Dead has never had a storyline that centered around people hoarding toilet paper and cleaning supplies, there has been plenty of things like diapers and fresh food that played similar roles.
He was stopped at the airport by a TMZ reporter, who asked what he had to say about the CDC's new campaign. When he more or less dismissed that, they changed tact. Then, it became how he woudl survive the zombie apocalypse.
"Well, if you're in the George Romero world, you go to somewhere where no one else would ever go," Nicotero told TMZ. "Because the zombies react to memory in the Romero mythology. So go to a dentist's office. Go somewhere where nobody else would ever go. You'd never think to go there because no one would want to be there, except dentists."
The interviewer was surprised that Nicotero had some really thoughtful ideas to share -- he also suggested either making yourself up to look like a zombie, or covering your clothes in duct tape to make it harder for a zombie scratch or bite to reach your skin -- but shouldn't have been. After all, as Nicotero himself notes, this isn't new. The CDC has been at this for a while.
"In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids," the CDC site said in 2017. "Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent."