5 things you DON’T need to do to prepare for COVID-19

A practical guide to what you shouldn’t be doing
Hand sanitiserGetty

Coronavirus has shut down the world, and Australia, in ways we never expected or have seen before. It’s a scary time for everyone, and navigating this new situation amid a health pandemic has created all sorts of issues for the health sector, supermarkets and small businesses.

WATCH: 7 simple steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus

However, there are some things you need to know about the right and wrong way to prepare for coronavirus.

#1 You don’t need to stockpile facemasks

The World Health Organisation says a facemask is only necessary is you are infected, in close contact with someone who is infected, or working in a ‘high-risk’ occupation such as healthcare. The only other time wearing a face mask may be advisable is if you are going to be in a cramped space with many other people for an extended period of time, such as on a plane.

#2 Don’t panic buy

While it is a good idea to grab one or two extra items in your grocery shop each week, should you need to self-quarantine for two weeks, The Prime Minister has repeatedly explained that panic buying and hoarding absolutely is not necessary. Today, Supermarkets confirmed that they are receiving deliveries every 24 hours, and have plenty of products to go around.

Hand sanitiser
(Credit: Getty)

#3 Don’t make your own hand sanitiser

Although stocks of hand sanitiser may be running low in stores right now, it’s important not to try and make your own at home. A DIY recipe needs to contain the right percentage of alcohol to be effective against COVID-19. Anything that contains less than 60% alcohol or that is primarily made up of ingredients such as essential oils, will likely not be effective. The best method to reduce your exposure is to wash your hands often with soap, for at least 30 seconds.

Cleaning products
(Credit: Getty)

#4 You don’t need to buy special cleaning products

Average household cleaning products that contain chlorine bleach, strong detergents, isopropyl alcohol solutions and hydrogen peroxide will all remove viruses from surfaces, but a good scrub with soap and water using a clean cloth will also do the job. An analysis of 22 studies on sister viruses to COVID-19 (such as SARS) found that it can be efficiently inactivated by simple disinfecting. 

#5 Don’t stockpile medicine

Although you may like to ensure you and your family have any medicines you might need for a two-week quarantine should you become infected, it is unnecessary to stockpile an endless supply of medicines. In fact, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has not yet received any notifications of medicine shortages in Australia that are a direct result of COVID-19, and pharmacies ask that you do not do so

This article first appeared on Better Homes and Gardens

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