Corona Virus, Panic buying and Cancellations.

The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. CoronaVirus or CoVid-19 has gripped the world, quite literally. Frequent press releases and tweets are being put out by the W.H.O. – I tend to look there for information.   :

Panic Buying
CoronaVirus has put the nation on red alert. It has sent the nation into a panic buying frenzy. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? Is there a need to panic buy at all?

Panic buying is not desirable

An article in Al-Jazeera said:  “Panic buying and hoarding of supplies is obviously not desirable, but it’s understandable, particularly when people see images of cities, regions and even whole countries in lockdown.” The comments made by Michael Baker, professor of public health at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand. The article went onto say how COVID-19 is seen as a real threat and subsequently some  people do not have confidence in authorities abilities to contain it. Hence stocking up “just in case”.

Panic buying or as some call it “stocking up!!” can leave the world n a dire place. Supplies do not last forever and if more countries close borders, then how will more supplies get in? Something to think about dear reader as you grab the last lot of toilet roll from the supermarket shelf.

Remember that we all need things! I would urge all panic buyers to remember this too. There are elderly and sick out there that need things. They need sanitiser, wipes, soap etc. We need to be mindful of the fact that if we are panic buying we may be taking from the real needy amongst us.

Fear and Control

Insufficient information breeds fear. Fear leads to panic. “We don’t know how long it will last, we don’t know much about the virus, it’s something new and we are learning something new about it,” Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer and business psychologist at the University College London, told Al Jazeera. “Consumers are trying to gain control and panic buying is essentially our attempt to be in control of the situation. It’s quite important to feel that at least we are doing something, we are being proactive and panic buying is exactly that,” he said.

Tsivrikos went on to say that consumers look at global news. They see Italy on lockdown and the instant uncertainty and questioning of “are we next?” kicks in.

Is the increasing social media awareness a good thing here?

While local news and world news continue to try and cover things in a measured way, sources of information can be gleamed from literally anywhere nowadays. You have every social media network, local news, world news, twitter feeds, papers, journalists, word of mouth, the lot!

Social Media makes the world keyboard warriors and experts!

Social media and its potential impact can be amazing or catastrophic. It can keep those who are isolated on virus lockdowns communicating or it does the opposite. It makes the whole world an expert.

Assumptions from those online  On Twitter yesterday there were a glut of people trying to dictate how people could make do, without understanding the situation they were in. I watched online as someone asked about “body wipes/wet ones” and the fact that they couldn’t locate any. This person was then told to “get over using wipes as they were too dependant on them”. They were also told to make their own using kitchen towels, bleach and a variety of other things. They were also told to use face washers and sterilise them like the old days! If those who had replied to the original poster had read further, they would have seen that the poster was using wipes when caring for a sick person. Face washers certainly weren’t appropriate for what the wipes were needed for and neither were hand made ones using towel and bleach! Episodes like this will happen all the time. As everyone decides that they know better than the last person, I personally think it may get worse before it gets better!

I sat online yesterday and watched as numerous people complained about the Disney theme parks closing for a while. Call me old fashioned, but I am an `err on the side of caution kind of girl`. My theory is I can have another holiday but if I get sick I have the potential to cause issues to people that may not be able to fight that infection. Those with chronic illness and immune-suppressed.

Mental over a mouse

The world was going mental online. Keyboard warriors ganging up on Disney for closing the parks. You know what, good on you Disney! Close your parks, have a great clean up and re-open safely when this is all over.  There were keyboard warriors stating that others needed to “just be sensible, stop overreacting and wash your hands”. When replies were made online by others stating that “not everyone is sensible, its not overreacting and so on…” the keyboard warriors came back with a vengeance quoting numbers of sick, Drs and statistics. Of course all of them worked for health organisations or the World Health Organisation!!!

How this affected me

I myself had a ticket for a rugby game next week. Yesterday, it was announced from round 2 that all games were going to go behind closed doors, meaning no fans in stadiums. I’m gutted but okay with that. There would have been probably 20-30,000 in attendance at that game. I have a ticket for State of Origin later this year. If that ends up cancelled, yep, still gutted but better safe than sorry.

In conclusion

  • Protect the elderly and sick.
  • Don’t panic buy – we all need something!!
  • Don’t be a social media expert! It just adds more fear to the situation. 

Remember we are all in this together!