Many stores are showcasing empty shelves. As we brace for the novel coronavirus outbreak, on top of the normal flu season, people are buying up every 'anti-bacterial' product to protect against it and prepare for quarantines if needed. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, water, non-perishable food items are flying off the shelves. What are we to do?
First step is to NOT PANIC! Yes, the novel coronavirus is a new illness. There is no vaccine currently available to treat or prevent it. Scientists estimate that it does have a higher mortality rate than flu. It has similar symptoms to the flu. Many don't have immunity built up. It is important to stay calm, be informed, and take precautions.
- Wash you hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If using hand sanitizer, it must be at least 60% alcohol.
- If you're sick, stay home.
- Don't touch you face, nose, eyes, mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched places as work and home.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or if you are sick.
- Don't shake hands to touch others if you, or they, are sick.
- Wear a face mask if you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick.
- Practice good etiquette with sneezing or coughing. Blow or cough into a tissue. Throw it away. Wash your hands right after.
With all the hand sanitizer being bought up. There are DIY recipes for it. Take this with a grain of salt. There are differing opinions on it's use, and whether they can be helpful, or actually harmful. Here are some articles for you to peruse.
- "Guide to Local Productions: WHO-Recommended Handrub Formulations", World Health Organization
- "Coronavirus: How to Make Your Own DIY Hand Sanitizer"; Julia Musto, March 7, 2020, Fox News
- "Can't Get Your Hands on Hand Sanitizer? Make Your Own", Megan Cerullo, March 5, 2020, CBS News
- "Newsletter: DIY Hand Sanitizer - Maybe Not the Best Idea", David Lazarus, March 9, 2020, LA Times
Stay informed, take precautions, don't panic. We will do better working together.