Coronavirus - Strange times

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Joined: Thu 01 Apr, 2004 15.36
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

From chatting with friends and colleagues, many of them seem to think that this will just stop or go away soon. They don't seem to realise that the containment phase is over, this is now out there and the next phases are to delay, then mitigate. Maybe there is a failure of government messaging, I don't know. From what I understand, many of us will now get this and for the vast majority it won't be worse than a heavy cold. It should still be taken seriously though, especially avoiding older people who more at risk of getting seriously ill.

People and businesses cancelling stuff now for a couple of weeks don't seem to have grasped that won't be nearly long enough. I agree it's a weird situation, nervously waiting to perhaps get mildly ill.

I found this interview with British virologist Chris Smith a useful listen (you can also get it as a podcast under Naked Scientists Specials). I also found this episode from a few weeks ago informative, which basically explains what the virus is and what it does.

Also slightly bemused to find my inbox full of emails from nearly every company I've ever been in contact with, explaining their "plans" to me. Fair play to those still trying to sell me foreign holidays.
all new Phil
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Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

Agree that most plans for closure aren’t nearly long enough. Disneyland Paris is closed until 2nd April. There’s absolutely no way they’ll be able to open then, especially given it’ll be the start of the Easter holidays. In 2 weeks time things will be worse than now. It’s going to be June/July at the earliest.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
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Location: Sheffield


Too soon?
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Joined: Sat 30 Apr, 2016 00.24

Was in Aldi and they are limiting 4 items per person. I got 4 semi skimmed long life milk, 4 skimmed and 4 normal, that was allowed! Soups are going down, pasta, no bog rolls. Morrisons was much the same, lot of fresh meat had gone and veg as well.
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Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

simonipswich1 wrote: Sun 15 Mar, 2020 19.15Morrisons was much the same, lot of fresh meat had gone and veg as well.
People stockpiling perishable logical as hoarding toilet paper for a disease which doesn't even cause the shits in the vast majority of people.
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Location: That London

simonipswich1 wrote: Sat 14 Mar, 2020 23.06 Our little Asda has a notice up outside the public toilets that due to the constant "theft" of bog roll, there is no bog roll in the toilets. If you require bog roll, go to Customer Services and they will supply you with some sheets! LOL!
My local branch of JD Wetherspoon, and a hospital near my work have similar signs for both toilet roll and in the hospital, hand-gel.

It really is a weird time; we've got a briefing at work about powers and responsibilities under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 ( ... tents/made), but no input on how we would actually stay safe from infection if we were to use or exercise those powers other than we'd then have to self isolate...
Martin Phillp
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Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

The restrictions on certain products are clearly not working. Sainsbury's for example have a limit on toilet rolls to 6 packs, however there are people buying 6 packs of 9/16 rolls. As soon as produce is on the shelves, it's being cleared in a very short period of time.
TVF's London Lite.
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Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

Nobody needs 6 packs of toilet rolls. Even if you had the worst case of the screaming shits in history that would last you for weeks, if not months. The limits need to be even lower to stop idiots taking it all.
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

The idea that supermarkets are limiting to 5 irrespective of pack size and calling that rationing is ridiculous. They'd look more credible doing nothing.

Really you should be limiting people to one and when it comes to things like bog rolls which could be broken down into smaller units and sold separately that should be done also eg I would have them all broken down into packs of 4 and limit to one per day. If your family genuinely can get through 4 toilet rolls, a big bottle of handwash and a big pack of pasta in a day you can easily buy the same again the next day. Meanwhile those who are determined to stock up on their daily ration would quickly realise they're just piling up mountains of products they're not getting through and stop doing it. If this was done people would quickly realise that there is more than enough supply to go around and stop panicking about it. As it is you can buy 5 x 36 rollers and walk out with 180 toilet rolls under their 'rationing' policy but people who want to buy just one pack can get none.

As it is the nutters are driving sensible people to panic buy as it is a bit scary to be used to seeing a fully stocked supermarket and suddenly seeing one cleaned out without clear advice on when the supermarkets will be able to get the supply in line with demand, leading people to buy things up when they can as they have no idea when they might next have the opportunity.
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Joined: Sun 31 Jul, 2005 14.52

The thing to remember with people buying things in bulk, is that they may be buying for elderly relatives in additional to themselves. Or it maybe people over 70 or with underlying conditions that have seen reports saying they may have to self isolate for months. It may not be as simple as people just being selfish, you can’t fully blame people when some are fearful that they may be stuck in their home for months. So a blanket rule saying people can only buy one of things isn’t really the answer either.
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Ultimately, no response will be correct I suppose. I do worry though that at present the biggest problem is not the virus, but people's fear of it.

But it won't stay that way. If the experts are right, the actual peak will be in the middle of May, but rather than public hysteria increasing until then, I think it will subside.

Panic is by it's nature a short term self-preservation reaction. People will not remain in a panicked state for months on end with nothing obvious happening. The panic buying is admittedly starting to get a little bit less funny when it's now more than bog rolls and handwash being affected (although I'm amazed at how much the booze aisle has been decimated at my local Sainsbury's - people clearly are planning a bit of a party during any potential quarantine), but even that won't go on for more than another week or so. My sympathies over it are for people who rely on buying cheap food at big supermarkets and expect to be able to do it after work since they are being hammered. If you can afford to do a big shop at a small-format store and pay double what you usually would you will still find those stores pretty much fully stocked (where I live anyway) with the exception of bog roll.

Once everyone is stocked up and/or the supermarkets manage to ramp deliveries up enough to keep up with demand that will be that. Then people start to stand back and realise that the vast majority don't know anyone who's had Coronavirus (or they do and they quickly recovered) and will quickly start wondering what all the fuss was about and be keen to get back to normal activities.

Then people will stop worrying about it just as we hit the time when we should be most worried.

In terms of a potential lock down, there are issues beyond the virus to consider. The virus might well be the primary consideration, but it can't be the only one. For a variety of societal and economic reasons it just isn't viable to do it for any more than a couple of weeks at absolute most. So to my mind any potential quarantine would be best placed if done in May (between the two bank holidays might be the most sensible) yet it looks like we're rapidly hurtling down a path to do it in early April.
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