Although it never really explains just how long it took the apocalypse to transpire, we know from Rick’s hospital experience in the first episode that it happened very quickly, roughly the time for one IV bag to run out, a man to grow a short beard, and a bouquet of flowers to wilt. The buzz across the internet is four weeks. I would agree with that.
In four weeks, judging by the number of survivors we’ve seen, the majority of the human race has become walkers, dead but not entirely dead, who only want to feed, or who have become food for the walkers.
As much as I love the show, this also leads to my biggest complaint. If that much of the population was wiped out or turned into walkers in that short of time, resources would be incredibly abundant, and sales prices would be slashed drastically. Forget blue light specials and midnight madness; everything in the entire world would now be one hundred percent off.
Since most can goods last for many years, and the sheer number of department stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, truck stops, dollar stores, etc., there’s no way the few remaining survivors could possibly use them up ─ ever. Yet, instead of a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup or refried beans, Daryl is out hunting possums and squirrels with a crossbow.
Speaking of the crossbow, weapons are another thing that would be finders keepers. There are thousands of gun shops in the country, not to mention military armories. Every time Rick and the gang are forced to defend themselves with knives and steel pipes, I shake my head. Remember when he finds Morgan again and Morgan has an arsenal? And he was just one man. Rick and the gang should have claymores, grenades, Uzis, 60 mm machine guns, armored vehicles, etc. Why? Because they are free for the taking.
Or, like when they discovered the truck hauling water on one of the side roads. Shane opens one and wastes the contents. That was moot, however, since they left the entire truck and never returned for it. As Merle proved much later, batteries have not completely drained yet from automobiles.
And even if all the batteries in the world are dead, guess what else is free ─ battery chargers, generators, and even gasoline. Even if you couldn’t figure how to get gas from the pumps, there are gas tankers all over the place. Not only that, there must be tens of thousands of 18-wheelers with trailers full of great stuff. Find the first Walmart truck and for goodness sake, put on some clean clothes.
For that matter, find the first Walmart and set up your home-base. You got block walls, thick glass, tons of food, drinks, clothes, mattresses, blankets, condoms for Glenn and Maggie, and bathrooms. Running water does not use electricity; it uses gravity, and since most everyone is dead, the water towers would last you for decades. There would also be lots of baby formula, bottles, and diapers for Little Shane… uh, Little Rick… uh, whoever Lil Asskicker eventually looks like.
That’s how I like to imagine my life would be like in the same circumstances. I, and the other ten people, all beautiful women, would be living it up inside a huge department store. We’d have sofas and recliners set up in front of several big screen TVs with DVD players showing Will Ferrell movies and Lady and the Tramp.
Whenever we did decide to move or make a run for other resources, we’d have a convoy of four-wheel-drive military vehicles armed to the teeth with huge plows on front to clear a path, followed by the water truck, followed by the truck carrying generators, followed by a Little Debbie truck, with the five beers trucks bringing up the rear.
That’s how you survive the world of the walking dead.