Coronavirus fears emptying supermarket shelves


Coronavirus fears emptying supermarket – As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the globe, supermarket shelves are being emptied by people stocking up on supplies. The rapidly spreading virus has not yet been called a ‘Global Pandemic’, but it certainly has created a ‘Global-Panic’ – with over 70 countries having reported cases of COVID-19 as of March 3rd, infecting more than 90,000 people worldwide. However, should we be panicking? It does not help that last week, Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu suggested people should consider stockpiling food and medicine. According to WHO (the World Health Organization), a pandemic is defined as ‘an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people’. However, with the rising number of countries and cases we have been seeing, why has it not been declared a Pandemic?

Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
Confirmed Coronavirus Cases as February 4th – Source WHO – Coronavirus fears emptying supermarket

The WHO will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic – but they have warned it is a possibility in the near future. “We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a briefing on Monday March 3rd. They consider the classification of a global pandemic ‘when epidemics occur in several countries at once’. However, there’s no clear threshold for the number of cases that meet the definition of an epidemic, with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) defining it as “an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area.” Nevertheless, the spread of COVID-19 has been charting in unknown territories – and although cases in Canada remain low and our government is taking serious measures towards it, perhaps it would be wise to stock up on a few essentials. However, panicking is unwarranted.

Coronavirus fears emptying supermarket

“It’s good to be prepared because things can change quickly. It’s really about, first of all, making sure that you do have enough supplies so if someone in your family becomes ill, if you become ill, that you have what you need to survive for a week or so without going outside,” said Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu. She also added that ‘public health agencies warn all the time that people should have provisions for unexpected emergencies, including snowstorms, power outages and even possible pandemics’. Given that only a significantly low percentage of people who have contracted the disease have died, and the majority of others have experienced the same symptoms as the flu, it makes sense to a degree. In the meantime, supermarkets have been reporting shortages of items such as meat and eggs, canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, soups, beans and food staples like bread, rice, pasta and sauce, even toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissue and pet food. Pharmacies are also reporting shortages of toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissue – as well as feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and even diapers. However, there is no immediate concern of serious shortages, as stores can easily restock most items. Most of our food is from comes Canadian and North American suppliers and rows of empty shelves can put fear into most people’s minds. Quite frankly, the stores are making money on those items and some might even try to take advantage of the situation. Facial hygiene masks might be scarce, but the bottom line is – don’t panic but be smart. For more information on how to be prepared to deal with Covid-19, go to this link.

By: Bonnie Wurst – [email protected]

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