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15 Mar

Excitement faster than pathogens

People everywhere rub their eyes in amazement: empty shelves in supermarkets! In Germany there is hammering. And this has only just begun at a time, just as the novel coronavirus from China to skip the borders of Germany. But not only penny pinchers or price-conscious people are on the go. John Doe also hoard kilos and cans of pasta, canned soups and toilet paper.

People everywhere rub their eyes in amazement: empty shelves in supermarkets! In Germany there is hammering. And this has only just begun at a time, just as the novel coronavirus from China to skip the borders of Germany. But not only penny pinchers or price-conscious people are on the go. John Doe also hoard kilos and cans of pasta, canned soups and toilet paper.

Many are afflicted with a kind of last minute panic. The excitement obviously grows faster than the pathogen. In the end, many simply don't want to be left without supplies. And that, although all experts are absolutely in agreement: engaging in precautionary purchases is completely superfluous.

Nevertheless, the people in the markets fill their pockets. Not only the former non seller, canned bread, becomes a bestseller. Breathing masks and disinfectants also fall victim to the herd phenomenon. Both would be better off with medical staff to prevent artificial shortages. On top of that, hospitals complain that some brazen contemporaries even simply let "disinfectants" go with them.

Clever minds believe that the frightened are hunting for canned food and toilet paper and that they are secretly greedy for prosperity. Others describe it as a skip stance in which people put themselves in a fighting mode against an unknown enemy, so to speak. They see the shopping frenzy as a means of finally being able to “do something” (against fear), that is, to become master of the situation again.

In fact, only those who act prudently can get their hands on the action again: The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (BBK) has published a "Ratgeber für Notfallvorsorge” (Counselor for emergency preparedness). It can be downloaded from the Internet at www.bbk.bund.de. There is also a checklist that explains a reasonable emergency supply for 10 days.

What to do if it comes to the worst? - People who fear that they have been infected with the corona virus should contact their family doctor by phone (do not go there: risk of infection!). Anyone who has had personal contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus should contact their health department by telephone; the contact details are in the Robert Koch Institute database: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool/ .

Anyone who still wants to raid supermarkets, specialist shops and pharmacies should consider: "precautionary  purchases do not solve a problem, they create one". Nils Huebner from the Institute for Hygiene at the University of Greifswald said this to the Second German Television in an interview. And on top of that, he made it clear: "We are preparing for a virus and not for World War III."

With Best Regards

Walter Thieme
WTH Managing Director