If you have been out recently, you may have noticed shortages on certain things like toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. This is most likely due to panic buying. Panic buying is a phenomenon that happens in the face of a crisis.
The underlying cause is fear of the unknown and believing that a dramatic event requires a dramatic response – and the best and most appropriate response is often overlooked. Panic buying is fueled by anxiety and a willingness to go to all lengths to help reduce that anxiety. A person may feel better knowing they have rolls of toilet paper, even though their rational minds tell them it is not necessary. They think they are more in control of the situation and that simple hand washing, practicing coughing hygiene, and our new directive, social distancing, do not seem like a significant enough response to the COVID-19 virus.
The other human response to panic and fear is herd mentality, which means you do not want to miss out on what others are doing. And even the slightest thought that you should have gotten the toilet paper that the other person bought can add to the panic behavior. If everyone else is doing it, there must be a good reason. Therefore, I will do it too, just in case.
Our quick access to information has not helped. If you feel anxiety and panic, turn off your social media feeds for a few weeks and don’t watch so much news. Headlines are meant to cause a reaction and fear is the one that gets the most follow-through. Quality sources of information are vital for avoiding rumors and falsities, and for giving you a more balanced sense of reality.
All that being said, continue to practice safe coughing hygiene by coughing and sneezing into the inside of your arm (elbow), and wash your hands afterwards. Wash your hands often and for at least 30 seconds with soap. If you are out and about for necessary reasons, use hand sanitizer. If you can’t find it, you can make your own – and you might just find you prefer the homemade version! This makes enough for your personal use.
Do-It-Yourself Hand Sanitizer
• 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol (99%) or witch hazel (with alcohol)
• 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (or you can use part aloe vera gel and part hand lotion)
• 10 drops of tea tree essential oil or lavender oil (or any essential oil you like)
Pour everything into a bottle and shake well. Use as needed and make sure to shake each time before use.
Note: If you have a pump bottle (e.g., an old hand lotion or liquid soap bottle) that you can recycle for this use, that is ideal!
Please stay healthy and safe, everyone.
Photo from here, with thanks.