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On this page, I will be attempting to catalog every reference in the series to countries other than the USA. From these pieces, I will be providing my interpretation on what we can learn and infer about the state of the world. If you know of something I missed, or believe my interpretation is incorrect, please let me know! 

Contributors: Jgmortim, M67PattonZippo

Worldwide: WHO Report (Audio)

Details

During the intro credits for The Last of Us, the following audio is heard: "Panic spread worldwide after a leaked report from the World Health Organization showed that the latest vaccination tests have failed."

Interpretation and Analysis

This is audio, which means it is most likely from a broadcast, either radio or TV. The WHO is based in Switzerland, so the Swiss government is most likely still operating to some extent at the time of the broadcast. The use of the word "worldwide" implies that many people in many countries received news of the vaccine test and that most (if not all) countries around the world are dealing with the infected populations. In the real world, the fastest rollout of an approved vaccine, the mumps vaccine, took close to 4 years, with testing beginning after 2 years.[1] Furthermore, in the real world, "there are no immunotherapeutics or vaccines approved for the treatment or prevention of fungal infections."[2]

With this in mind, I don't believe this broadcast could have happened at any time with the first year after Outbreak Day. And even a one-year timeframe would be next to impossible given the state of the world and the fact that we have no experience developing fungal vaccines. I'm not an expert, but I would have to guess two or three years have passed at the time of the broadcast. Which, if that's true, it means global communication systems are still operational several years after Outbreak Day. However, given the widespread panic, it seems most governments are dangerously close to the point of collapse at this time. This may have been the breaking point for many nations.

Worldwide: Newspaper Clipping (Artifact)

Details

The Newspaper Clipping is an artifact found at the University of Eastern Colorado. It contains the following: "With the latest WHO report estimating that as much as 60% of the world's population is either dead or infected by the CBI pandemic, the United States Military has released a statement that they're recalling all of their search efforts."

Interpretation and Analysis

Unfortunately, there is no publication date on the newspaper clipping, so it's hard to know when this was published. But we can surmise that the WHO (which is based in Switzerland), along with the Swiss government, was still operating at the point in time when 60% of the world became infected. Whenever that may have been.

Canada: Shipping Manifest (Artifact)

Details

The Shipping Manifest is a handwritten note detailing a sailor's experience with Robert and the Military and a manifest of items the ship delivered to the docks outside the Boston Quarantine Zone. The manifest includes one item of interest: "2 crates of frozen meat (more Canadian Bison!)".[3]

Interpretation and Analysis

There are no species of bison known as Canadian Bison; however, one species of bison lives in Canada, the American Bison (Bison bison). There are two subspecies of American Bison: Wood Bison and Plains Bison.[4] Plains Bison can be found in both Canada and the USA. Wood Bison can only be found in Canada.[5]

Given this information, we can infer that the frozen bison meat mentioned in the manifest came from Canada. Thus, there are people in Canada that hunt bison and trade with people in the USA.

We also learn from the note that the goods on the ship were being smuggled into the Boston QZ. While this does not eliminate the possibility of trade (or cooperation) between what remains of the Canadian government and what remains of the US government, it does indicate that this particular ship and crew were not operating under the authority of either nation.

Canada: Tess' List (Artifact)

Details

Tess' List is an artifact that can be found in the Boston QZ. It is a list of dates with items that Tess received from Bill. It contains one item of interest: "1 crate Canadian whiskey".[6]

Interpretation and Analysis

Unfortunately, this tells us nothing as the whiskey was most likely brought to the US before the outbreak. Considering Bill doesn't leave Lincoln and the fact that whiskey can basically be stored indefinitely (given the right conditions), it is safe to assume that the whiskey was already in Lincoln on Outbreak Day.

Canada: Waterfalls (Conversation)

Details

In The Last of Us Part II, chapter Jackson, section "Patrol", Ellie and Dina have the following conversation:

Dina: "I mean, If I lived pre-outbreak, yeah! I'd go see the whole country."
Ellie: "Or travel to another country."
Dina: "Maybe one day we will."
Ellie: "Keep dreaming."
Dina: "Jesse Talked a lot about going to Canada. He said there's these, like, giant waterfalls out there he wanted to see."
Ellie: "Really? He's such a hardcore Jackson guy."
Dina: "Everybody's got their dream."

Interpretation and Analysis

Again, we don't really learn anything from this, but it's a reference to Canada, so it's included. 

Canada: Ferry Log (Artifact)

Details

Ferry Log is an artifact that can be found in Seattle in The Last of Us Part II. It is a ship's log for a ferry that was destined for Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, but it never arrived and ran aground on the Seattle coast. The ferry set sail on 10/2/13 and the last log is from late in the evening on 10/6, suggesting the ferry ran aground either on the 6th or early on the 7th of October, 2013. Ultimately everyone on board was either killed or succumb to the Infection. There are two entries of interest in the log.

10/2/13 08:20 - Left San Diego, course set for Vancouver. Crowds trying to get onto the boat while we loaded grew violent, but evac successful. 35 souls aboard, Capt. A.J. Malidore in command.

10/4/13 13:38 - Radio check-in with Vancouver port. Good news so far, no signs of infection among their population.

Interpretation and Analysis

We have learned that there were no symptomatic infected in Vancouver, Canada as late as October 4, 2013, which is 8 days after Outbreak Day. We also learn that the check-in was with a port and not just some civilian with a radio. This combined with the fact the log makes no mention of entry to Canada being denied or otherwise restricted means the Canadian government did not implement travel restrictions on the west coast. At least not within 8 days of Outbreak Day. From the apparent openness of the border, we can further speculate that the spread of infection in Canada was driven by unknowingly infected US citizens fleeing to Canada.

UK: Immigration Newspaper (Environment)

Details

UK Freezes Immigration.jpg

In the Sewers, there is a room containing the Sewers Note. In this room, there are also newspapers tacked to a bulletin board. Presumably, Ish collected these while he was trying to piece together what happened while he was at sea. One newspaper has the headline "UK Freezes Immigration" and an article titled "All International Flights Grounded". Another newspaper headlines read "Mass Graves in Virginia!" with an article titled "Infection Spreading" (not pictured, but trust me it's there). And a third newspaper headline reads "Military Shooting On Sight" with an article titled "Food Supplies Run Low". All three newspapers were published by Pittsburgh Newspaper.

Interpretation and Analysis

Unfortunately, the publication dates and articles are not legible. Ish states in the Sewer Note that he was away for a "few Months". So it is most likely that these were all published within six months of Outbreak Day.

Given this information, we can infer that at some point within six months of Outbreak Day, the UK put a freeze on immigration and this information made it successfully to Pittsburgh where it was published in a Newspaper. We can further infer that the UK was not hit as bad as the US (at least initially) and that people were fleeing the US (and probably other countries) to take refuge on the island nation.

England: Martial Law Newspaper (Promotional Image)

Details

Newspaper teaser.jpg

Non-Cannon Source

An image of a newspaper with the headline of "The Last of Us" was released as a teaser before the game's release. The main article: "The President Addresses a Panicked Nation As Millions More are Feared Dead or Infected". There is a quote from the President "Our union remains strong. The military is making large gains and securing additional Quarantine Zones. This is our turning point. We are not and will not become the last of us. Mankind will prevail." The titles of two additional articles can be read: "Texas, New Mexico Quarantine Fails" and "England Latest to Declare Martial Law".

Interpretation and Analysis

Based on the headline and quote from the President, I'd guess this newspaper was published with a month of Outbreak day, but most likely within the first week. Unfortunately, I can't make out where or when the paper was published. The fact that the quarantine in Texas and New Mexico failed corroborates my interpretation of Central and South America being the hardest hit (see below). It also suggests that this newspaper was not published in either of those states. This is an American newspaper and although England and the UK are not the same thing, Americans usually refer to them interchangeably. So it's a safe bet that martial law has been declared throughout the UK. Additionally, the use of the word "latest" indicates that many other nations have already declared martial law at the time of publication. We know the true epicenter was South America, but it is safe to say the UK was not an epicenter of the eastern hemisphere. Which begs the question of which countries outside the Americas were hit first or the hardest.

South America, Central America, Mexico: Mysterious Infection Newspaper (Environment)

Details

Newspaper MysteriousInfection.jpg

It is stated in a newspaper found in Joel and Sarah's house at the beginning of The Last of Us that the Cordyceps outbreak spread to humans due to infected crops from South America. In fact, the local newspaper of the city of Austin, the Texas Herald, states on the front page of the September 26 edition: "Admittance spikes at area hospitals! 300% increase due to mysterious infection" followed by the article "FDA expands the list of contaminated crops. Massive recalls anticipated" saying:

"The Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of crops potentially tainted with mold continues across the country. Initial lists distributed to vendors nationwide warned against crops imported from South America, but now the scope has extended to include Central America and Mexico. Several companies have already voluntarily recalled their food products from the shelves."

Interpretation and Analysis

We learn from this that CBI first started spreading in South and Central America. We can assume that these areas would be among the hardest hit (at least initially) as the first people in the world to turn would have been from these regions. It is also relevant that this paper was published the day before Outbreak day. And we learned from Tess that "Everyone turns within two days...".[7] Depending on food distribution networks, it is possible that countries on other continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia) would have had a couple of days before experiencing their own respective "Outbreak Days". After seeing what was happening in the Americas, other nations would have had a short window of time to react. Two days is plenty to implement travel restrictions (depending on the country), which could have helped to prevent the spread of infection around the world. This seems to have been the case in the UK at least, as the UK implemented an immigration freeze at some point after Outbreak Day (see above).

Mexico: Manny's Hometown (Conversation)

Details

In The Last of Us Part II, chapter Jackson, section "The Overlook", Abby and Owen have the following conversation:

Owen: "Feels like the farther south we go, the prettier it's gotten."
Abby: "You wanna keep going? Just drive all the way to Mexico?"
Owen: "I've thought about it."
Abby: "We could see Manny's hometown."
Owen: "Yeah, I don't see that living up to his stories somehow."
Abby: "Yeah, no, probably not."

Interpretation and Analysis

Manny's hometown is in Mexico. I don't know how old Manny is supposed to be, but I believe he was born post-outbreak[citation needed]. We can also see Manny with his father in the cafeteria near the start of Seattle Day 1 (Abby). We don't know what caused them to leave Mexico, if it was just Manny's family, or if a larger group of people left together. However, this does tell us that people were living in Mexico post-outbreak and that they were there long enough for Manny to grow-up to the point where he could remember it.

Europe: Destroyed Cities (Promotional Images)

Details

Screenshot of the page.

This content was released by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 2013 [8], but the original page, titled "Destroyed Cities", no longer exists. However, you can find it using the Wayback Machine: here. The page features photoshopped before-and-after images of major European cities. I will not be reproducing the images here, but I will describe them. If you want to see the images, please visit the archive link above.

  • Oslo, Norway:
    • Holmenkollen: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Stockholm, Sweden:
    • Stockholm Palace: In runes with signs of heavy fortification including sandbags and satellite dishes on the roof. On the left edge of the image, we can see towers that weren't originally there.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark:
    • Frederiksberg Have: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • London, England:
    • Battersea Power Station: Heavy damage but is clearly operational with smoke coming from the smokestacks and electric lights are powered at the station.
    • Buckingham Palace: In ruin with signs of heavy fortifications including sandbags, barbwire fences, satellite dishes. A single all-red flag can be seen flying from atop a radio mast on the roof of the building. No other signs of habitation
    • The Shard: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands:
    • Vondelpark: There are several campers and tents as well as people with campfires in the background.
    • Canals: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Berlin, Germany:
    • Berlin Central Station: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
    • Berlin Cathedral: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Warsaw, Poland:
    • Barbican: Moderate damage. Walls topped with barbwire. A single red cross flag is flying from the top of one tower. No other signs of recent habitation.
  • Paris, France:
    • Eiffel Tower: In ruin. Multiple fires burn around the city. A single light shines from the near the top of the tower.
    • Palace of Versailles: In ruin with heavy fortification on the roof and a white banner with red letters hangs from the roof, but I can't make out what it says. It appears to end with "1123".
    • Notre Dame Cathedral: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Lisbon, Portugal:
    • 25 De Abril Bridge: heavy damage, no signs of habitation.
    • The Santa Justa Elevator: In ruin; no sign of habitation.
  • Madrid, Spain:
    • The Caja Madrid Tower: In ruin. A building in the foreground has new satellite dishes on the roof.
    • Avila: In ruin. A large fire smolders in the distance.
  • Rome, Italy:
    • Colosseum: More damaged than usual, no signs of habitation.
    • Castel Sant'Angelo: In ruin; A large fire burns in the distance; no signs of habitation.
  • Moscow, Russia:
    • Kremlin Fortress: Damaged but heavily fortified. Many electric lights illuminate the parameter which is patrolled by soldiers with dogs as well as armored vehicles. Soldiers can also be seen manning spotlights from atop the closest tower.

Interpretation and Analysis

Coming soon...


References

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