1. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    Cover up stories for the quarantine of a whole town

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Skelly Jack, May 29, 2017.

    I've been having trouble trying to come up with a viable cover up story. I'm writing something that includes the quarantine of a whole town, but the agency responsible for this doesn't want to create panic, so they need a cover up that allows them to work in peace on settling the matter.
    Think a sort of zombie apocalypse situation.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    What's the geography? Or, what geography could you have? The fewer entrances to the town, the easier to explain closing them.

    An island with a ferry? Ferry's broken down, sorry.

    In Tremors there was only one road into Perfection--it was in the middle of nowhere.

    You could fake a prison escape or something, to excuse checkpoints on every road. An agricultural quarantine could also excuse checkpoints on every road. But that doesn't excuse actually keeping people from leaving, it just excuses stopping and searching every car, and maybe interacting with each passenger enough to be confident that they're not zombies.

    That's all I've got.
     
  3. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    Well, I was thinking a small town in Idaho (for joke purposes and the fact that literally nothing ever happens there in modern cinema)
    The idea was that no one goes in and no one gets out except for authorized personnel. Anyone in the town at the time of quarantine can't leave, and will probably be terminated, or given something that would cause them to forget. (Think SCP. It's where my idea for this part originated.)
     
  4. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

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    Get some snow cannons and snow them in. :D
     
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  5. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    An outbreak of some highly infectious but relatively nonlethal disease. Like the bubonic plague. Only about 10% fatality rate with modern medicine, but if your town is small and remote enough, a bad breakout of something like that would be a viable excuse for a quarantine, I should think.
     
  6. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    I like that, and it would give a bit of Irony due to the culprit. Thanks for your input :)
     
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  7. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

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    I suppose nobody would understand that the bubonic plage is not that dangerous anymore. They will still lose their heads and try to leg it.
     
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  8. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    I thought about this, actually, and I was going to ask if you had any other epidemic in mind that would make a bit more sense. The idea spawned a cover-up having to do with "anti-vaccers" not vaccinating their children, thus causing something to make a bit of a comeback, thus requiring a quarantine. We don't actually know what caused the bubonic plague to die down. There are theories, but nothing that would be relevant to today's society.
     
  9. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Measles is pretty bad if it gets loose. Keep in mind that you could always claim bio-terrorism or something like that, make up your very own disease. Which, I guess if it's for a cover-up is actually a made up disease in the story. INCEPTION.
     
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  10. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    For Martial Law to be in effect, they would say it was something dangerous but fixable
    (even if they don't have a bloody clue). Secondly they would impose strict policy and
    anyone trying to leave will either be killed or detained in that order.

    It would be a 'free prison' to anyone that is not infected, and those who are will be isolated
    in CDC quarantine, and they would try to find a cure.

    A small town could be shut down pretty easily by the Mil. and they could do a fairly efficient job
    of quarantine, meeting little resistance from the local populace. Yes there will be those that see
    Military personnel as a threat to their way of life and liberties. People in the outskirts would likely
    cut and run to other areas unaffected by the 'virus', if they catch wind of it well ahead of the the
    Military moving in to impose a lock-down.
    Main roads will be guarded and regular patrols will be conducted as a result, making sure to seek
    out those infected and make sure the un-infected are still getting the basic necessities that they need.
    There will be a place or two in-placed to take on cases as they occur after the incident.
    Curfews will be implemented and enforced. People will not be to damn happy having a bunch of
    soldiers milling about in gas-masks and hazmat gear, let alone being told to stay in their homes
    unless they absolutely have to leave for supplies and what not.

    Scariest words you never want to hear: I am from the Government and I am here to help.
     
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  11. Arktaurous34

    Arktaurous34 Active Member

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    How would you stop social media? How big of a perimeter would authorities have to set up?
     
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  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Firstly they can shut off a small town from the rest of the country if they have to.
    It is communications, something that is all too familiar to specialists in the Military.
    So they could easily control the flow of info in and out of the area.

    They would put up a perimeter of 5-10 miles roughly, and have guards set up
    with signs posted to impose road authority. Also there would be a continual
    air presence in the form of gunships on patrol to cover the perimeter and keep out
    people, and keep people in. Hell with a motivated team of soldiers and hardware,
    you could suppress and lock down Spirit Lake, ID with little problem. You simply
    have to make it very apparent that the lock down is for the peoples safety first and foremost,
    that will curb the few that will rise up against the Military incursion. You have to
    Remember that the Mil does not want to be there anymore that the people they have
    imprisoned.
     
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  13. Arktaurous34

    Arktaurous34 Active Member

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    Okay but what about a ham radio (popular in Idaho)? You can operate one on a mere 12volt power supply. Some boast of a 600 mile range. Or heck, courier pidgins, Morris code, notes or flash drives attached to balloons (jet stream flows to Montana, Wyoming, and Canada). I mean cutting off every form of communication without killing all the humans is an extremely difficult endeavor.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Stupid question: Has this ever happened in real life before? An entire American town being quarantined?
     
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  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    That is an if. As in If the Military hasn't confiscated the radio as a means of controlling communications.
    As for popularity in Idaho, I haven't got a clue when it comes to Ham-Radios. (Shrugs)

    Though you do realize that Truckers will be quarantined as well? They would be kept off the air, and there would be
    a message sent to the dealer/supplier/owner of the goods in transit. They would control the info in and out of the area
    tighter than a frog's ass mate. :p
     
  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    IDK, outside of the internment camps of WWII. Why Gotta crop duster full of Ebola floating around so we can test the theory?
    That would be the most definitive way to know with 100% accuracy what would happen in the event of a quarantine. :p

    Pretty much everything is left up to what is available as far as what measures would be take in such an event. That in and
    of itself should be more than sufficient to know that there are contingencies in place just in case. The last one being nuke
    or fuel air bomb as a last ditch option to 'cleanse' the contaminated zone. :p
     
  17. Arktaurous34

    Arktaurous34 Active Member

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    I just watched a YouTube video of a guy who built an antenna out of copper wire and pvc pipe that gave him roughly thirty miles on a hand held. You would have to scour every home, vehicle, survival kit, and confiscate every radio, antenna, power supply, and all materials that could be used to build a radio to guarantee no outgoing radio communication from a town unless you had some tech to form a bubble around the town. Ham radios are also not affected by an EMP. I suppose it could be done but a handheld could be stashed in thousands of places. It's a tough sell for me but it could be done I guess.
     
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  18. Arktaurous34

    Arktaurous34 Active Member

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    Sorry @Skelly Jack for getting side tracked. Cover up was the topic. I think these guys have presented some great ideas :)
     
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  19. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Quite right Mister @Arktaurous34 is.

    They would have a media black out and a story pre-fabbed
    in the event of a quarantine, so as not to cause a nation wide panic.
     
  20. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    I think the coverup would fly for maybe 15 seconds in real life. I've seen our government work. They can't keep a conversation in the oval office secret, let alone an American town full of cellphones, sat phones (all the mountaineers where I live have those), recreational drones with go-pro cameras, etc.... I suppose the military could take a shot at it if they had an army base up the road with a thousand dudes and all the equipment ready to go at a moment's notice with all the orders already signed by all the appropriate offices in the chain of command. Not to mention that all those army dudes would likely be living in the town they were attempting to quarantine. Unless they bussed them in from all over the country, by which time the crisis would have likely spread beyond a manageable quarantine zone.

    The US government? For reals? Those bozos couldn't silence a high school reporter covering a bake sale. I hear you as far as fiction goes, which is great for us, because nobody in the western world has ever executed a media blackout that I'm aware of.
     
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  21. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Well China has a very strict control of what goes on it's internet activity, so it would be
    plausible that we could do the same in a small rural area.

    They could impose Martial Law on an area, but it would take quite a bit of manpower
    and resources, and cost a shit load to do, but they could do it.

    https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/nat-sec/ADA372427.pdf

    So Other than costing a bloody fortune and taking up a whole army to impose
    it is a real thing that can be implicated in a small area. Though it is considered
    undesirable by all parties involved. How well executed depends on how well
    trained those who are implementing it.

    But Yeah I agree with you in the bigger picture, the gov would spend a trillion
    and half ass shutting down a hot dog stand. :p
     
  22. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    You shouldn't have heard about it now, should you? :D
     
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  23. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    If you want to isolate the town, you can just set up some radio jammers around it. No radio gets in or out at that point. They can even jam wireless networks. So the radios would be a nonissue as far as letting the outside world know.

    However, they could surely be one of the first signs for the townsfolk that something isn't right.
    "Nyha nyha nyha nyha nyha."
    "But how could they be jamming us if they... if they don't know we're coming? PULL UP! ALL CRAFT, PULL UP!"
     
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  24. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    The current quarantine rules are public information: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/

    A media blackout just would not be possible in most of the US with modern technology. Information will always leak out. You'd have to also cut all privately owned communication lines to the town, which would be a legal mess. Even if martial law was declared, it's unlikely that Verizon/AT&T will allow part of its network to be simply shut down or destroyed out from under them: if the government even tried, swarms of lawyers would go on the offensive, judges in other parts of the country will scold the military and they'd lose control of the situation anyway.
     
  25. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    I'm rather okay with the fact that everyone got carried away with this topic. The debate is actually rather helpful, and not just with the dilemma I'm facing, but with some interesting dialogue. Thanks so much for being awesome! I'm still working on the quarantine situation, but I'm glad that I have an idea of the cover up, and how it's going to work out. I'll let you guys know about the progress when I get back to it! :D
     
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