It’s safe to say that Coronavirus has taken the world by storm. That’s probably not the right word to explain this epidemic, but you probably know what I mean. Everywhere I turn there’s a discussion going on about it. There’s no possible way to escape it. The media is reporting on COVID-19 24/7, social media is discussing it 24/7 and families are preparing their pandemic survival strategies. It’s everywhere.
It’s been a part of our news reports since the beginning of February, but has only recently gained traction in the last few days. We’ve gone from a few news articles, to now 95% of media organisations pages being consumed by the topic.
My biggest shock and dose of reality came when they closed all of the Disney Parks around the world! They’ve also announced their closing all their American resorts and stores across North America. Now if that doesn’t say they’re taking it seriously, I don’t know what does.
COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation is defined as a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe illnesses. The common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
A few weeks ago, when all of this was just starting, my mum and I went off to Costco for a browse and to actually get toilet paper. We took our time walking in and around the aisles. Meanwhile up in the toilet paper section everyone was going bananas for their 3ply. By 10:30am all of the toilet paper was gone and they were starting to make work on the paper towel. I have honestly never seen anything like it. People had trolleys stacked high with toilet paper and water bottles. I thought I was in a scene from the apocalypse.
Checking out took 30 minutes, and my mum and I just stood in amazement with our two boxes of Skechers shoes in our arms. Eventually we got to the check out and somehow got the toilet paper that someone had had taken off them for exceeding the limit. But walking out of that Costco was scary… I thought I was going to be bopped over the head for it.
PSA – Do not flush paper towel! It will clog your toilet!
Now the supermarkets at the moment are of a complete entity of their own. I have never seen anything like it before. The shelves are bare, people are brawling for basic necessities and staff are gobsmacked as they stand by watching it all.
When you enter the supermarkets you would almost think you were entering the apocalypse. That’s how bad it is at the moment. But I honestly don’t know how we got from the point of people just purchasing their essentials, to everyone panic buying.
It’s gotten so bad that supermarkets have now had to place limits on certain items, otherwise we’d have nothing on the shelves entirely.
I just want to stress one thing. If possible can we all try and stop stockpiling so much food to the point that we have people in our society who can’t access the basics? We have people within our society, especially the elderly, who cannot afford or have the ability to do big bulk shops, which means they’re going without at the moment.
If we all try to stick to buying what we need at the moment, then we can hopefully help the supermarkets with getting back to normal.
Having 10 cartons of eggs and 20 boxes of Weet-Bix is unfortunately not going to help fight off the virus. So please think before you purchase. And if you regret bulk buying, why not donate some of your supplies to retirement homes or see if your neighbours need anything? It’s times like these that we need to remember the strength and unity of our country from January and apply it to now, instead of every man for themselves.
Back track a few months and Australians were working together to raise much needed funds for bushfire victims. There was the bushfire relief concert, and even people around the world rallying support to help rebuild our communities.
But fast forward and now we’re throwing punchings with our neighbours in order to get some toilet paper. Have I missed something?
I do understand though that in certain situations stockpiling foods is necessary. Someone who has a big family will need more food then someone living on their own. People with special dietary requirements may need to stock-up as well, with the risk of not knowing if their food will continue to be available. So if you need to stock-up I say do it, but do it within reason. Because with the situation changing everyday, you do also need to look out for yourself and your own family.
Even for my own family we have felt compelled to stock-up on products. We haven’t gone overboard and have still only bought things we normally eat, but instead of purchasing one loaf of bread, we’ve gotten two and frozen one.
The other day we weren’t able to get chicken mince for dinner and my mum wasn’t able to get her lactose free milk which she needs. We also spoke to a staff member who told us that the other week they had a lady buy three trolleys worth of long-life milk. That’s just insanity. My mum also witnessed someone clear the shelf of canned tomatoes.
At the moment some of the restrictions that the Government in both Australia and across the globe may seem excessive. But when thinking about the potential scale and spread of the virus, it’s these measures that are going to hopefully save thousands of lives.
Australia has banned any gatherings with over 500 people. This includes concerts, sporting matches, University classes and graduations and so many more things. While you may be thinking, now what. We need to be thinking how can we as an individual help to slow down the spread.
Personally, I’m going to be self-isolating as much as I can. The only times I’ll be leaving the house will be to get groceries and to go to work, as both of the places I work are still open. Other than that I’m going to stay inside, to not only reduce my risk of exposure, but also minimise the risk of passing any potential illness on to others.
The major reason for self-isolation is to not necessarily assist you, but to assist those more vulnerable in our communities. Those that are elderly or have compromised immune systems. Those that if they end up contracting COVID-19 are likely not to survive. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s a reality we need to be aware of in the coming months. Basically, if we all work together, maybe we can help slow the spread?
Here’s some steps you can take to assist with the spread of Coronavirus, as according to the World Health Organisation:
- Regular hand washing – 20 seconds is recommended
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding contact with anyone showing symptoms of illness
- Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs
I’m sorry for this type of blog post, but with the current climate and discussions I just felt that I needed to put my thoughts into words if that makes sense. I’m in no means a healthcare professional or anything like that and all of the information above has been sourced from media organisations articles I’ve come across.
I would love to hear how you are preparing for COVID-19. Are you planning on stockpiling, self-isolating, or just continuing your normal routine?