Will People with 20/20 Vision Outlast Everyone Else Post-Apocalypse?

apocalypse_meow_final-thumb-620xauto-38329Despite my best efforts to ruin my eyes by looking at a computer screen for 14+ hours a day, at 32.5 years of age, I still have 20/20 vision, if not slightly better. Yesterday I used this evolutionary marvel to spot a squirrel pooping on the sidewalk from 40 yards away.

I must admit that I have a slight sense of pride when it comes to my good vision, as well as a kinship with other 20/20ers. Whenever I find out a girl I like has perfect vision, she gets bonus points. Natural selection, right?

That said, my vision seems to give me very little advantage in today’s world of glasses and contact lenses. Sure, I don’t have to touch my eyeballs on a daily basis (seriously, how do you all do that?!), but once you slip in your contacts, we have the same vision.

The one exception is what I reference in the title of this post: What if there’s an apocalypse (zombie, natural disaster, kitten revolution, etc) and the world goes to hell and a handbasket (is that the expression? What’s with the handbasket?). I imaging there will be lots of rioting and looting. People are going to run out of contact fluid pretty quickly, and your glasses are going to be broken as you sort through rubble for one last Bud Select.

Once your corrective lenses are gone, don’t your odds of survival go way down? How are you going to protect yourself from bipedal dolphin invaders if you can’t tell the difference between them and your best friend?

I’ll make this pledge to you, people of less than perfect vision: I’ll try to look out for you as long as I can. I might need to use you as bait, but if you can trust that I’ll be nearby, hand-carved bow and arrow in hand, we might make a good team.

What do you think? Will people with 20/20 vision outlast everyone else post-apocalypse? How long will you last?*

*Just for the record, I’ll probably get a migraine on day 2 of the apocalypse and get eaten by a zombie while I look for a dark, quiet place to lie down.

8 thoughts on “Will People with 20/20 Vision Outlast Everyone Else Post-Apocalypse?”

  1. I believe the phrase is “Hell in a handbasket”. When I looked up the origin, a number of different things popped up. This one seemed relevant and interesting: “It isn’t at all obvious why ‘handbasket’ was chosen as the preferred vehicle to convey people to hell. One theory on the origin of the phrase is that derives from the use of handbaskets in the guillotining method of capital punishment. If Hollywood films are to be believed, the decapitated heads were caught in baskets – the casualty presumably going straight to hell, without passing Go.”

    As for the impending Apocolypse, I’ve always had a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to Apocolypses. You never see zombies trying to eat the zombie next to them. I’d probably just start eating people and hope the zombies would pass me by, thinking I’m just another zombie. Seems like the natural approach to me. Admittedly, however, I’m putting all of my strategic thinking toward zombies–I’m ill-prepared for the kitten revolution.

    Reply
    • Trev–I just hope that it actually is a zombie apocalypse if you start eating people, not a sluggish day at the office due to a broken coffee machine.

      Very interesting about “hell in a handbasket.” That seems like a reasonable explanation.

      Reply
  2. My first reaction to this was “Oh sh@#”…I never even thought about that. Now I’m gonna be a burden to my husband. I’ve had glasses/contacts since I was in 5th grade. My vision has progressively gotten worse over the years. I don’t know what my 20/20 number is, but my prescription is -4.00, which is pretty bad. I can see things clearly only if they’re less than a foot away from my face, then everything gets really blurry. It sucks. And I’ve wanted lasik for a long time, but the cost and the fact that a needle has to go into my eye has kept me away from it.

    My second thought was “The Book of Eli”!!! Denzel kicks some serious cannibal ass in that movie and takes care of himself better than the rest of those fools all while he’s completely blind. Why? Because all his senses are heightened to make up for the blindness. So, now I’m going to look at it in the sense that my poor vision will be a huge asset to our post-apocalyptic team. I’ll have the hearing of an eagle and the agility of a cat. Yes, I said cat. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ha ha…sorry Leandra, but you’re going to have a tough time if the apocalypse happens. I’m sure your husband and kids will help you. And it would be pretty awesome if your other senses became more powerful. Perhaps you’d have the equivalent of night vision using an evolved sense of hearing that’s similar to sonar. I’ll gladly add you to my tribe if that happens.

      Reply
  3. Jamey, I usually enjoy your posts. But today I have to disagree with you on two major points:
    (1) 20/20 vision isn’t that much of an evolutionary advantage unless you actually need the distance vision. In hunter-gatherer societies, distance vision is essential. However, other pre-literate societies don’t need everyone to be hunters or lookouts – maybe farmers or bakers or blacksmiths. And that’s assuming that, in said apocalypse, all the glasses disappear. Yeah, people with contacts are at a distinct disadvantage, especially since zombies like to drink saline solution almost as much as they like to eat brains. Yes, this little-known zombie fact rarely comes up even in fiction, but it’s well-known that you can repel zombies by tossing a travel bottle of Blink behind you while you run away.

    (2) A kitten revolution is not possible unless they evolve opposing thumbs. That’s it, simple. Granted, the day DOLPHINS evolve opposing thumbs and learn calculus, I’ll realize we’ve got maybe 5 or 8 years at the most before they figure out how to melt the ice caps and swarm us in our new aqueous homes, but the feline brain is incapable of comprehending anything more complex than single-variable vector motion.

    Now, let’s look at your Apocalypse Meow picture. See those stone buildings on fire? How does THAT happen? And how is said fire set by kittens who lack opposing thumbs? I think the only accurate component is the piece of denim hanging out of the mouth of one General Mowzer. Clearly there is some collaboration between the kittens and the dolphins.

    Reply
    • You know a lot about the apocalypse! Especially zombies. As for kittens, you’re correct that their lack of opposing thumbs slows them down, but it won’t stop them. Especially not after they team up with dolphins.

      Reply
      • Jealous of the 20/20. Always will be. I have not-so-great vision in the vicinity of -4.25 in one eye and oddly -1.00 (at one point I was near-sighted in one and far-sighted in the other, you can imagine how fun it was to draw and constantly switch between near and far–it literally made me cross-eyed, a very hot look for an awkward pre-adolescent). Aren’t most zombies supposed to be slow? And they moan? Plus do you really want to see how gross a zombie looks, even from far away? Also don’t they tend to come in mobs, in which case I don’t think good vision will help. I think I’ll be OK as long as I have a shotgun and my other senses about me. I don’t own a shotgun though…hmmm. Are there such things as kitten zombies? These are the things that keep me awake at night.

        Reply

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