Regardless of what infection happens to be doing the rounds, there is nothing quite an effective as a pandemic to induce displays of herd panic-behaviour in individuals who in fact probably don’t have all that much to worry about. Clearing supermarket shelves, for instance.
Seriously people, just don’t do it. Paracetamol to you is a regular, straight forward painkiller. Easily obtainable for a few pence and useful if you’ve got a headache.
For children like my boy, paracetamol is the wonder drug that keeps his temperature down when he’s poorly, reducing the risk of catastrophic or life-threatening seizures. For others, it’s the difference between a life of unimaginable pain and being able to at least take the edge off so it is possible to still go about their daily lives.
You may not think that buying pack after pack of baby wipes, loo roll, soap or disinfectant gel is a problem. For us, not being able to get hold of essentials makes an already stressful life increasingly difficult.
We also need soap, in order to wash hands properly, and alcohol gels to protect against bugs when we can’t wash our hands so easily – think changing nappies in a lay by for example. Our children may have medical devices to care for too – PEG tubes for example. Or in the case of others, PICC lines used to give medications etc directly into the vein draining into the heart. For us, being able to maintain a clinical level of cleanliness is critical to keeping our loved ones safe longterm, not just until the current panic passes.
If the public gave so much thought to hand hygiene etc. every winter, then maybe seasonal flu and norovirus wouldn’t strike the same level of fear into our hearts as the coronavirus pandemic is inducing in the general population.
Makes you think, doesn’t it.