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Coronavirus - should we prepare?

(91 Posts)
Lyndiloo Tue 11-Feb-20 02:06:33

I was talking to two women at the schoolgates today - one, a young mum, the other a grandmother, like me. They were both very concerned that the Coronavirus has now reached the UK, and were talking about 'stocking-up' on food, in case supermarkets started to close, as they have in China. They were listing all the things that it would be sensible to buy, should there be a pandemic here.

Do you think we should be worried?

Is anyone else planning to stock-up on tinned goods, frozen food, etc.?

Nansnet Tue 11-Feb-20 05:31:57

No. I don't think we should be worried. But I do think fear mongering spreads quickly, and that's what worries me more than the virus. I don't live in the UK, or in China, but where I do live currently many supermarket shelves have been stripped bare because of idiotic people listening to fear mongering on social media. Trade deliveries are being delivered as normal, and there are no shortages of food, or other supplies, getting to the supermarkets, but stupid people are stocking up, and emptying the shelves like the world is going into lockdown! People need to get a grip, and just take sensible precautions.

vampirequeen Tue 11-Feb-20 07:23:49

It's just another bug. Most people will be ill for a short while then be OK again. Like all illnesses some people will get complications and sadly, a few will die. However to put it in perspective even if you catch it you have a 98/99% chance of recovering.

Daisymae Tue 11-Feb-20 07:27:07

I don't think that supermarkets will close although you might not want to go there if there's a local outbreak. The best thing to do is to wash hands frequently and steer clear of anyone with a cough etc. There's info on the government website.

Esspee Tue 11-Feb-20 07:27:42

Oh my goodness! It is an outbreak of flu, not Armageddon. Please please don’t listen to the scaremongering being whipped up by the media.

TerriBull Tue 11-Feb-20 07:48:11

I think older people are more vulnerable, I guess that's us hmm although ordinary flu can prove fatal year on year. I suppose we can't dismiss the severity of what's happening in China right now, I can't imagine the authorities want their country to grind to a halt, deaths aside, the financial implications must be enormous. I always wash my hands anyway after shopping, especially when touching cash machines, rails and similar germ ridden surfaces.

I have added a couple of multi packs of baked beans to an Ocado order being delivered tomorrow. I haven't noticed bare shelves anywhere yet!

Hetty58 Tue 11-Feb-20 08:06:28

It's thought to be about as dangerous as the ordinary flu. I fail to see how stocking up would help, though. I get most of my shopping online anyway.

If I were too ill to go out, I'd get my daughter to drop off some things outside, then get them when she'd gone!

M0nica Tue 11-Feb-20 08:27:27

Totally agree with vampirequeen. It is a bug, the death rate is 1% or less. For most people it will be the equivalent of no more than a winter bug, which they probably get very winter anyway.

The problem is that if it goes free so many people will be ill at the same time that it will disrupt schools offices, and the the NHS.

I am old enough to remember the Asian flu epidemic of 1957 (I think). Most schools had to close down, mine closed for a fortnight, offices, factories. I was too young to be aware of the affect it had on the medical services but I know the mother of one girl in my class died of it, but she already had health problems.

The biggest threat to those with the virus is the pneumonia that some sufferers get. I have had the pneumonia job, which I assume will offer some protection.

The biggest threat to the rest of us is people panicking and running round like headless chickens over stocking with food, most of which will go uneaten and later be thrown out.

harrigran Tue 11-Feb-20 08:29:50

I think people are burying their heads and sticking their fingers in their ears.
ordinary flu, there is nothing ordinary about flu and if you say that you clearly have never had the flu.
I will not be stock piling food.

craftyone Tue 11-Feb-20 08:33:28

no need to stockpile, assuming you are already old school prudent and have some foods in for any emergency. No need to worry either, except if living in Brighton, which has 4 cases who have been in contact with many people

Daisymae Tue 11-Feb-20 08:34:44

I don't think that the World Health Organisation would be so concerned if it was just flu. It's a new virus that no one has any immunity to. I think we need to be aware of what's going on but I would not think that there's any need to panic buy. Our health services are stretched to breaking point and could not cope with a major outbreak. I had the misfortune to visit our local out of hours walk in center recently, a 2 hour wait despite having an appointment in the evening. One of the patients was a new born who also waited 2 hours. We can only hope that it's contained and take sensible precautions in the interim.

Esspee Tue 11-Feb-20 08:46:01

It is flu. A new variant but still flu. Every year the predicted mutations are included in the flu vaccine which hopefully we have all had. Unfortunately this variant wasn’t predicted but that doesn’t mean we are all doomed.
Just take the precautions recommended by the NHS and get on with your life.

JenniferEccles Tue 11-Feb-20 08:50:19

There certainly will be food shortages in shops if the idiotic idea of stockpiling gathers momentum.

The rate of increase of new cases has slowed so it seems likely it is coming under control.

In any case, the vast majority of people who catch it recover .

Daisymae Tue 11-Feb-20 08:55:23

Any case I still have my Brexit box!

merlotgran Tue 11-Feb-20 09:24:40

Ha Ha Daisymae. My emergency food cupboard is known as the Brexit cupboard! Everything still untouched!

Living in the middle of nowhere means we are always well stocked up during the winter months. If I fall ill I rely on deliveries for fresh stuff.

The only precautions we'll take are the normal winter ones.
Fortunately DH doesn't have any forthcoming outpatients appointments. The last time we were there (two weeks ago) we could hear staff complaining that people were coming in with 'flu' symptoms despite the signs to stay away.

annodomini Tue 11-Feb-20 09:30:42

It isn't flu, Espee. The virus is not an influenzal virus. Corona is of the same 'family' as the common cold and SARS. Even if it had appeared before the current flu vaccine was created, it could never have been part of the same vaccine.

tickingbird Tue 11-Feb-20 09:50:58

Some man from Nottingham University was on yesterday’s news speaking about this and he said the flu jab wouldn’t have any affect at all on Coronavirus.

wildswan16 Tue 11-Feb-20 10:05:26

This virus does seem to spread very easily, perhaps more than our "normal" flu. If there are problems to come I think it will be because of services struggling to cope with reduced staff, and the need to put quarantine measures into place to prevent massive numbers of infection.

The NHS is certainly going to be overwhelmed and we should all do we can to ensure that we protect ourselves as much as possible.

Out of interest - how do you think you would cope if you were told today that you could not leave your home except twice a week (for which you need a stamped pass) in order to buy essentials. That is the reality in China, along with no public transport etc etc. How would we in the UK react?

BusterTank Tue 11-Feb-20 10:18:59

Yes I do think we should prepare . Maybe if the people in China was more prepared they wouldn't be in the situation they are in now . Those who say it's only a bug , should look up what is really happening in China and not only listen to what the media is telling them . The crematoriums are working 24/7 burning bodies . Doesn't seem like a slight bug to me . It always pays to be prepared and prevention is better than cure .

polnan Tue 11-Feb-20 10:20:29

wildswan16 that is what worries me, I have to get outside every day,,, else I can spiral down, to be confined quite frightens me, guess I can go in the garden?

I think the media has a lot to be blamed for... all doom and gloom

Oopsminty Tue 11-Feb-20 10:23:24

It is flu. A new variant but still flu. Every year the predicted mutations are included in the flu vaccine which hopefully we have all had. Unfortunately this variant wasn’t predicted but that doesn’t mean we are all doomed.

Gross misinformation

Back to the OP, no, I won't be stockpiling anything.

jaylucy Tue 11-Feb-20 10:27:29

My ex husband lives and works in China - don't think he is anywhere near Wuhan though
Last time I heard from him, the whole country was in lockdown and he wasn't allowed to go to work and travel, unless for essentials was not allowed - his area was under curfew, that was nearly 2 weeks ago and no cases had been diagnosed in the area at that time.
As he is an Aussie, not sure if he will be flown back there or not - communication is by Facebook and seeing as the Chinese government do not agree with that, have not heard anything since!

GrannyGravy13 Tue 11-Feb-20 10:37:21

It is stockpiling which leads to empty shelves which leads to panic buying........vicious circle, but unnecessary.

I think the Department of Health quarantine plan is working, I heard Dr.Hilary say this morning that on average 4,000 people die of flu each year in the U.K.

I am in the "susceptible group" but I cannot waste my precious time on Earth worrying about something I might / might not catch.

Matelda Tue 11-Feb-20 11:00:57

Because of medical treatment, my immunity to viruses etc is reduced. I have therefore stocked up on antiseptic hand gel (which I have read needs to contain over 60% alcohol) and also antiseptic wipes.

I don't think that younger people these days understand illness the way that we did back in the 1950s when as a small child steadfastly nursed by my mother I soldiered on through chickenpox, whooping cough, measles, Asian flu, rubella and mumps. Though it was horrible at the time, most of us children survived. And much respect is due to those 1950s stay-at-home housewife mums who bravely nursed their sick children on pitiful resources and old wives' tales.

Esspee Tue 11-Feb-20 11:13:11

It is not the same virus as influenza. I stand corrected having googled the difference. My only excuse is that it was a GP who told me so I assumed it was correct information. He should have said they were similar I expect.
My apologies to all.