As the spread of coronavirus causes pandemic pandemonium in Australia and abroad, populations are grappling with the fear of the unknown.
Worldwide, there has been nearly 150,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with over 200 of those in Australia.
Now, as cases continue to rise, Australians are in preparation mode. Indeed, for weeks now, that has involved stockpiling.
But what is the official advice on what we should all buy in anticipation of the outbreak of coronavirus?
Well, the Australian Government has provided no official recommendation that Australians prepare for isolation (unless you feel unwell).
Watch: Mamamia’s Claire Murphy breaks down your most answered questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.
So, instead, we looked to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, who says people should indeed have “supplies on hand”.
The CDC says necessary personal medication should be your first priority, in case there is an outbreak in your local community that will require self-isolation. If no extra medication is available, they advise to check if you can get them mail-ordered.
On top of prescribed or personal medication, the CDC adds that over-the-counter medical supplies will also be helpful to treat the cold-like symptoms of coronavirus (in mild cases). Authorities say that the majority of infections can be recovered at home, with over 80 per cent of coronavirus cases classified as mild.
They further advise to have “enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time”.
The NSW Government is a little more detailed. While it hasn’t issued a COVID-19-specific household preparation plan, it offers the following list for what to purchase in a pandemic situation.
Ready-to-eat canned/bottled food
- fruit juice
- pasta sauce
- dried fruits
- snack bars
Dried and long-life food
- ready-to-eat meals
- breakfast cereal
- milk powder/UHT milk
- soup mix
- dried vegetables
- rice and pasta
- long life cheeses
- tea/coffee/drinking chocolate
- toilet rolls
- soap and shampoo
- feminine hygiene products
- rubbish bags
- tissues and paper towels
- house and laundry cleaning/disinfectant products.
- bottled water (3 Litres person per day)
- concentrated juices/sports drinks (for dehydration due to illness)
- first aid kit
- adult and children analgesics/pain killers
- face masks
- protective gloves
- alcohol-based hand wash/gels/wipes
- baby food/baby formula
- nappies and wipes
- pet food (canned/dry)
- prescribed medications
- other preferred household supplies
Of course, panic-buying is not helpful for anyone, and the overwhelming advice is to only stock up for two weeks’ worth of groceries.