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Opinion CDC’s updated guidelines for living with the zombie apocalypse

Please read the following FAQs! (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

Great news! The zombie war is over! You can come out of your bunkers now!

Did we win? No. We did something even better than winning: We suddenly became aware of the passage of time! Wars can end lots of ways — by winning, by surrendering, by a negotiated settlement, by simply deciding in our minds that they are over with or without consulting the facts on the ground.

Anyway, please read the following FAQs about our new guidelines.

Why are there new guidelines if nothing has changed?

Look, it is hard, and everyone’s trying! That’s the takeaway here! We’ve all learned and grown, and it’s time to move on!

But is the zombie war over?

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Well, the fighting-zombies phase of the zombie war is over!

The way you phrased that made it sounds like the zombies are not … gone.

Yes, technically, in the most literal sense, the zombies are still among us, but much as we would like to be living in a totally zombie-free world, that was never the goal, except for a brief time when we were way too optimistic about what people were capable of.

Look, some people decided that the effort of eradicating the zombies wasn’t worth the inconvenience. Imagine having to bring a heavy, metal bat with you every time you go out! Imagine living like that! Well, because some people couldn’t do that for a limited time, now other people will have the opportunity to do that forever.

Leana S. Wen: The CDC’s updated covid school guidance is ushering in a new normal

Wait, what do you mean?

Well, we can all get back to life as usual — unless you are not confident in your ability to outrun the zombies. If you are not, though, it’s still exciting news: You now get to be responsible for your own zombie safety! This is good because it is freedom.

Okay, well, is there any actual good news here?

Yes! A thing we can all genuinely be thrilled about is that kids will be going back to school! And if they want to bring a bat or other kind of zombie repellent with them, we do hope the schools won’t take punitive measures against that! (Our time-honored schools philosophy is that they are where we go to ignore that horrible things can happen, so we understand the impulse to punish anyone who wants to bring in a reminder about the Z-O-M-B-I-E-S. But don’t do it, maybe?)

Hasn’t your past guidance sort of missed the mark?

Absolutely! For a very long time, we said to “wave garlic and a rosary at the zombies” even though this seems not to be an effective strategy at all. But in our defense, there is a zombie apocalypse happening, and we are not at our best right now. Everyone is yelling, or growling a low rumbling growl, and we have been unable to think clearly.

Look, the war is over. You can get back to your normal, pre-zombie-apocalypse life, unless, again, you think you would not win a fight with a zombie because, to be clear, they are still out there. Instead of wasting all that effort trying to get to zero zombies, which is, like trying to get to inbox zero, futile and probably impossible, we are going to devote ourselves to seeing positives in our new zombie-enriched normal — a world not overrun by zombies but one where lots of gatherings now happen to include surprise walkers.

Unrelatedly, are basilisks back?

It’s true that health officials in New York recently identified the first basilisk in nearly a decade in the United States. But don’t worry, you are probably protected! And we are sure we can come together as a nation, take appropriate precautions and stop this basilisk in its tracks so nothing gets in the way of returning to normal life as quickly as possible! And if we can’t, we will be doing some more guidelines soon!