You’d think gastroenteritis was on the rise, not another version of the flu. And yet, toilet paper is flying off the shelves like there’s no tomorrow!
In my home city of Sydney, Australia, a shopper pulled a knife on another person in a bid to buy toilet paper. In fact, standoffs like these are being reported across the western world. And it’s not just toilet paper, but non-perishable foods and disinfectants, from hand sanitizers to bleach.
The irony is, most of the toilet paper sold in Australia are made in Australia. The same can be said for much of the western world. Multinational conglomerate Kimberly-Clark, whose main trade is paper-based personal care goods, is shouting that there is no shortage of toilet paper and that customers need to calm down. And they’re not the only toilet-paper-making company to come out and say so.
You’d think a nuclear war was imminent, but no. It’s just another version of the flu. So why all the chaos?
Well, according to this report by the BBC, this ‘poodemic’ is driven by fear. The fear of missing out. It’s also driven by medical reports about Covid-19, where the incubation period for the virus is about two weeks. This means people are buying in bulk in case they catch it, so they can hide at home for two weeks.
In the midst of this crappy crisis, the sane side of the world is laughing in shock:
And then there are others who are seeing the worst of a bad situation:
In the words of Taylor Swift: You need to calm down!
First, as we’ve noted before, most toilet paper is made locally and there’s plenty of it to go around.
Second, toilet paper doesn’t help prevent the spread of viral infections. It simply just wipes your nether regions.
Third, some people need more of it than you…
I went shopping today and the lady behind me had two ten-packs of toilet rolls. When she overheard the conversation I was having with the checkout lady, she pipes up saying “this is the fourth supermarket I’ve been to today. I have three girls to look after and a husband. I actually need these rolls more than these other idiots.”
Explaining, Preventing & Treating Covid-19
Misinformation is a nasty business and should be dealt with by finding reputable sources who have years of experience. Here is a factsheet from Australia’s Department of Health about Covid-19. You can also find a detailed analysis of Covid-19 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. But I will also outline the facts I’ve found below:
What is Covid-19?
Some common viral infections that affect the throat and lungs are versions of coronavirus; this includes the common cold and flu. Covid-19 is a particular strain that falls under the coronavirus umbrella.
It originated in the Chinese province of Hubei, and it is still unclear how it came about.
How To Prevent It?
The best way to prevent any infection, including coronaviruses, is with regular hand washing. Most especially before and after a meal and after going to the toilet. No, that toilet paper won’t help!
It’s also important to train yourself not to touch your face. This will be hard since we all regularly touch our faces as a habit or to scratch an itch.
How To Stop It Spreading?
This particular coronavirus is believed to be spread mostly through direct person-to-person contact, so perhaps avoid kissing people for the next few weeks.
It can also be spread through sneezing and coughing, so please learn to eject your respiratory fluids in your upper arm and, at least, away from people around you.
Also, most viral infections are only transmittable when a person shows symptoms.
What If I Might Have Coronavirus?
If you believe you have coronavirus, call your GP first and tell them of your situation before going to see them. That way they can prepare for your arrival.
Should I Be Isolated?
People who need to be isolated are those who have visited particular countries like China, Iran and now South Korea, and those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
If you have Covid-19, you are required to stay home for at least two weeks or seek medical care. If you absolutely must leave the house, the Department of Health insists on wearing a face mask. You may also want to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer.
What Is The Treatment?
Coronaviruses, like most viral infections, do not respond to antibiotics. It simply must run its course, hence the 14-day incubation period. Treatment for Covid-19 is believed to be the same as any other viral infection: plenty of water, plenty of rest, plenty of nutritional food. You can also treat specific symptoms with specific medical care.
Who’s Most At Risk?
The elderly, young children and babies, Indigenous, or those with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions, are recommended to seek medical care if they have or believed to have Covid-19.
And please stop wearing face masks if your healthy, it’s just not necessary. It doesn’t really help in the prevention of coronavirus. The only people who should wear face masks are those who have a coronavirus infection.
Now, can we stop all this panic?