Originally Posted by DreadMagus
It could have only been 24 hours, also.
- 2 nights ago: All hell breaks loose, people start rising, babysitter gets killed
- Day: Lee and the Cop are heading out of Atlanta (reports of "incidents")/Car crash
- 1 night ago: Lee sleeps it off in the car after the cop dies outside, walkers wander off.
- Day 2: Lee wakes up - I think you know what happens from here......
Another option is that Clem's babysitter actually wasn't killed by a zombie but by a robber/murderer. The house itself is in shambles, drawers are pulled open everywhere, etc.. Walkers wouldn't start pulling at drawers, robbers would. So another possibility is that the babysitter was one of the first wave of zombies that have risen. This would make it more like:
- 2 nights ago: robber/murderer kills babysitter
- Day after: nothing happens, but Clem stays holed up because screams of babysitter. Babysitter, and other dead people, start turning somewhere during the end of the day.
- 1 night ago: First night of walkers, some people die but not that much because most people are indoors in their houses. Probably some news of civil unrest but nothing yet alarms everyone because the second wave of walkers, those killed by the first ones, have not yet risen.
- Day after: Cop gets Lee's ride as his first assignment, during morning rush hour the amount of zombie related incidents rise sharply when wave 2 starts rising in the middle of everyone being outside.
Cop car drives into a zombie from wave 2 that crosses the highway. Probably attracted by the sounds of the cars. Cop gets killed, probably, by the walker he drive into or whatever other walkers attracted by the sound.
A few hours later, in the late afternoon, Lee wakes up after the crash. Dry mouthed from the stress/adrenaline of the accident and minor blood loss from the injury.
The neighbourhood could have gone to hell in just 6-8 hours from morning rush hour to when Lee wakes up. This would also explain why Hershel's son is still doing trips to Atlanta, because it wasn't so bad when he was there the day before, or even earlier that morning.