Cooper is an American photographer and future journalist aged 21, who was visiting Chernaus in early April of 2017 from the United States to take pictures of the restoration after the civil war as an international study opportunity through his college. Cooper has no family, he's always relied on himself to get through tough times. His parents died in a car accident the day he turned 17, leaving him to fend for himself. His other family had no reason to contact them, after all, his parents' wedding wasn't approved by their respective parents. Cooper was awarded some scholarships through his work in high school, and completed 2 years of college before his journalism professor offered the study opportunity in Chernaus. Cooper said yes immediately, and began to pack and was soon on his way. And so, Cooper traveled to Chernaus where everything seemed normal but only for a matter of weeks. This is his story.
"When the virus broke out , I was thrown into the wasteland. As I struggled through the military checkpoint with my very little Russian, I was pulled aside by a few soldiers and was demanded to give all my belongings to the men. They took my suitcase, my camera, my wallet, my water bottle even! I began to argue with one of the soldiers with my broken Russian. He said something about the "dead walking men" virus and how every little bit citizens and visitors donated, the better the army could do to keep us safe. If only I could have documented this. As soon as I was through the check point, we were told to proceed to Berezino where we would all be taken care of. There was police and firefighters along with nurses and doctors. It seemed alright. But then the virus began to spread. First, some of the firefighters, then the doctors and nurses, then the police. Soon the town was full of dead, rotting, smelly corpses that were still breathing...and walking. The military never stayed. As soon as they marched us there, they marched back to the checkpoint. I'm currently stuck on the coast maybe near Elektro, surrounded by dead men, with only the clothes on me, and some small supplies I was able to find. I don't know what's happened hear, but I gotta record this event. This can't be normal."
I hope to become a lending hand in the community, helping those who need it if the reason is just. As a journalist, I like to pretend I write in my diary of all the events that have happened since I arrived in Chernaus and hope to share some stories with other survivors. Thank you.