Australia is in a weird place right now. Nothing illustrates this more than the current frenzy surrounding the purchasing of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other hygiene products.
Pick any local supermarket right now and chances are the shelves are bereft of toilet paper, something that honestly came as a surprise to me and left me furrowing my brow trying to understand exactly why toilet paper of all things?
I wrote an editorial back when the country was on fire that said that misinformation was the real villain in all of the news surround the bushfires at the time, and I worry that we're up for another round of it.
Some perspective is needed, yes Coronavirus is scary and it is spreading quickly, but like many have pointed out there are many more dangerous things out there that we face regularly like Influenza, which Health NSW says killed more than 650 people in 2017.
I think too, the unknown element is what gets people most worried. We like to think we understand something like the flu and how to protect ourselves against it, but with Coronavirus there are elements of the spread that we can't yet know.
Also, talk to your kids about it, hygiene should be something they know or learn early on and if there was an outbreak, you're able to probably avoid any issues. But also, kids are really susceptible to what they see and hear from their parents and the television, I don't know about you but I was deathly afraid of the world ending based on some definitely suspect stuff I saw on tv when I was a kid. But I didn't know any better.
So make sure they're okay.
There are plenty of other things you can do to protect yourself and I have to stress that none of them involve being racist or stocking up on toilet paper.
Again...WHY toilet paper?
You should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow. The fact some people need to reminded to do this anyway is troubling.
Used tissues should be placed in a bin, and hands immediately washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
You should wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty. Again, um, do this anyway.