OPINION: We need to stop stockpiling and start thinking

Mar 18 2020, 8:57 am

Written for Daily Hive by Cong Chen, BScN, registered nurse


At first I thought it would be interesting to hear from friends around the world what their toilet paper situation was — things quickly turned comical as photos and stories came flooding in.

Although the situation was never minor, one afternoon changed our collective mentality about the coronavirus quite drastically.

With an abundance of new information being released hourly, and with so much left unknown about the illness, can create the panic that’s causing supplies to fly off the grocery store shelves.

Toilet paper might be fine to laugh about, but when food and hospital supplies start to disappear is when things get a bit worrisome. The elderly still need food, and many do not have the ability to drive around to different grocery stores to get it.

People need to stop, breath, and look at what’s more important for us to get through this more quickly, so that things can return to normal, and businesses, schools, and life can start up again.

Stockpiling is not only unnecessary, it is harmful to the ones not capable of going to multiple stores, and to the health care professionals who may need those supplies.

I have, fortunately, heard of people returning toilet paper back to stores. Perhaps they realized that so much toilet paper simply isn’t required, or that they were being selfish and that others may need some too.

Grocery store deliveries are being delayed due to staff not wanting to be exposed to COVID-19. Add that together with the panicking public, and stockpiling can quickly create food shortages.

During such a stressful time, it is important to remember to be sensitive. You may think that some people are overreacting, but they may have family members who are affected or have been lost to a past virus.

It also, unfortunately, has to be noted that coronavirus has nothing to do with race, and blame, simply does not help the situation — so please let us stop hating. Instead of verbally abusing, physically assaulting, and vandalizing, perhaps it would be wiser to focus on what is more important.

Let’s all take some time to remind ourselves of those important things: eating healthy, exercise, friends, family, taking care of yourself mentally and physically, and to remember that things may change overnight, so focus on doing what brings you joy today.

The only thing we can do after all this is to take away some valuable life lessons. Stay safe and check up on your family members, friends, and front-line workers that you may know.

While many of you can stay home and watch Netflix, a lot of us nurses, infectious disease physicians, physicians, respiratory therapists, and allied health staff are directly in contact with coronavirus without the proper supplies to protect ourselves.

Please stop stockpiling; the hospitals need supplies to protect their staff, and we all need food and toilet paper.

With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.