Here's how Canadians can be prepared for "all possible" coronavirus scenarios

Mar 4 2020, 7:14 am

While panic buying has taken over parts of Canada due to fears of coronavirus spreading, the federal government is advising against it.

It is, however, encouraging stocking up on essentials slowly.

This is one of several ways the Government of Canada and Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, suggest being prepared for “all possible scenarios” when it comes to coronavirus.

“While the risk to Canadians is still low, it is important to be prepared at the individual and community level for all possible scenarios,” says the federal government.

“Canada’s public health system is well equipped to contain cases coming from abroad. However, we are ready to shift our approach quickly if need be, from containment to slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

One of the ways to help slow the spread of coronavirus is through day to day greetings. Basically, no touching.

“Since respiratory viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, are spread through contact, change your regular greeting. Instead of a handshake, a kiss, or a hug, a friendly wave or elbow bump is less likely to expose you to respiratory viruses,” suggests the Canadian government.

In a thread, Dr. Tam said that as cases of the virus increase, it’s also important to make a plan.

“Think about what you will do if a #COVID19 outbreak happens in your community. Plan for alternate work and childcare arrangements should you or a family member become sick,” said Dr. Tam.

As for panic buying, it should be avoided. Instead, Dr. Tam’s advice is to slowly and gradually fill your cupboards.

“Add a few extra items to your cart every time you grocery shop to build up your household store. Look for non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods like dried pasta and sauce and canned soup, vegetables, and beans,” she said.

This helps you so you would not need to go shopping if you become sick.

Besides canned food, it is also a good idea to have extra stores of pet food, toilet paper, facial tissue, feminine hygiene products, and diapers (if you have children).

Other items to grab extras of include hand soap, facial tissues, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, household cleaning products, and fever-reducing medications.

Again, the government says that being prepared isn’t necessarily because you’ll need to self-isolate.

“Having these supplies on hand will ensure you do not need to leave your home at the peak of the outbreak or if you become ill,” they say.

Dr. Tam also advises Canadians to refill prescriptions and to “consider seeing your healthcare provider to renew your prescriptions ahead of time. Avoid busy pharmacies if you become sick.”

Additionally, the government and Dr. Tam say that your plan may including changing regular habits “to reduce your exposure” to coronavirus.

“Plan to have enough on hand to avoid public or crowded spaces such as the grocery store or consider shopping online or at off-peak hours,” says Dr. Tam.

The government also says that you may “commute by public transit outside of the busy rush hour” and “opt to exercise outdoors instead of in an indoor fitness class.”

“In order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, everyone has a role to play,” says the federal government. “It takes more than governments and action from the health sector to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Each of us can help our country be prepared in the event of an emergency.”

So yes, stock up on toilet paper… just try not to panic while doing it.