Okay, the similarities between The Walking Dead and the real-life coronavirus pandemic are starting to get a little scary. As the contagious coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid pace across the United States, businesses have been shutting down with social distancing highly encouraged. Usually filled with bumper to bumper traffic, major highways are now left completely barren, creating an eerie feeling reminiscent of the pandemics we've seen in fiction like the zombie contagion explored on The Walking Dead.

Noticing the similarities, a Walking Dead fan going by The Mad Engineer took to Twitter to compare an early promo from season one of the series to how things now look in reality. "So I asked my old college mate, that lives in Atlanta, to try and reproduce this iconic promo photo from s1. With there being no Atlanta traffic due to the pandemic, he went to Jackson St. Bridge and took this for me today," the fan explains. The result is a rather creepy comparison which would make it rather easy to imagine Rick Grimes riding a horse along the same empty highway in real life as he did in the Walking Dead promo artwork. You can look at the tweet below.

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Debuting in 2010, The Walking Dead is based on the Robert Kirkman comic book series of the same name and was developed for television by Frank Darabont. Along with an ensemble cast, it features Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, a sheriff's deputy who awakens from a coma to find himself in the midst of a zombie outbreak that's ravaged the world. Lincoln has since departed the series, but is expected to reprise the role of Rick Grimes in one or more Walking Dead movies. Meanwhile, the series is still going strong after ten seasons on AMC, with the network suggesting there are no plans to end the series anytime soon.

The highway comparison image shown above isn't the first time someone has compared the coronavirus pandemic to the Walking Dead contagion. As many of us know, toilet paper has turned out to be the most popular item for hoarders to stock up on during this pandemic, with grocery store shelves left totally empty. Fans revisiting the first episode of The Walking Dead have since noticed that the survivor Morgan Jones (Lennie James) has stockpiled a massive amount of toilet paper in the house he's holed up in with his son, mirroring what many people have been doing in real life in response to the coronavirus news.

Oddly enough, the CDC has even recommended watching The Walking Dead as a small way of being prepared for a global pandemic. "If you watch The Walking Dead, then you are more likely to be prepared for a real pandemic, not just the zombie apocalypse," says Juan Crédulo at the CDC. Fair enough, just try not to look at the more dastardly characters, such as Negan and The Governor, as a source of inspiration. The photo of the empty Atlanta highway shown above was posted by The Mad Engineer on Twitter.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb
Jeremy Dick