Bleats

Coronavirus Panic-Buying Has Created A Black Market For Toilet Paper And Hand Sanitiser

To stay clean or to make a buck, that's the question now.

Oh Australia, you’ve gone and done it now. After explicitly stating that there’s no need to hoard supplies like toilet paper following the announcement that Australia has labelled the coronavirus as a global pandemic, you’ve all gone and gone on a panic-buying spree at Coles and Woolworths anyway.

Speaking of the coronavirus panic, the GOAT team talk about the biggest talking points about the disease on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

Due to growing – and misplaced – fears over the coronavirus outbreak becoming worse, Australian shoppers have gone on a panic-buying spree and hoarded up all the toilet paper and hand sanitiser they could find.

Members of the GOAT team has checked out a number of supermarkets throughout Sydney and can confirm that Australia’s currently in the midst of a toilet paper/hand sanitiser panic-buying wave as there are empty shelves everywhere. Seriously, you could throw a rock into a supermarket and hear the clang of empty metal shelves reverberate.

Couple this coronavirus panic-buying spree with the resulting shortage of toilet paper and other supplies in Australia, and what we’ve inadvertently created is a black market for them online. All you need to do is search “hand sanitiser” on Ebay and you’ll find bottles of Dettol and other brands on sale for inflated prices. Toilet paper is still reasonably priced – for now.

We get that the coronavirus outbreak is a serious and scary issue, especially after reports of Australia’s first cases have been confirmed, but the panic buying of toilet paper and hand sanitiser is a massive overreaction. Yes the disease is awful and people are suffering in various ways from it, but we’re far from the “prepare the apocalypse bunker” phase.

Leading health experts (via ABC) are warning everyone in Australia that there’s no need to panic buy toilet paper and other supplies as there’s still plenty of time to prepare for any potential coronavirus pandemic. The recommended thing to do is to simply buy a few more supplies on top of your usual shopping list just in case instead of stripping supermarket shelves bare.

So if you’re worrying over not stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitiser from your local Coles and Woolworths amidst worries over the coronavirus outbreak, stress less because it’s everyone else in Australia who is overreacting.

As for those who have hoarded all the supplies they could get their hands on in a coronavirus panic-buying spree, maybe you could spare some on the newly-formed toilet paper black market (at reasonable prices) to other people who actually need them.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

I Can Hear You Muttering 'Coronavirus' When You Walk By Me Down The Street

You're not being funny, you're being an arsehole.

Jacinda Ardern recently said that it is during tough moments where people’s true character comes to the fore. While she meant it as a dig at Scott Morrison, there’s definitely truth behind it. That well-worn phrase stuck out in my mind when I was walking down the street the other night and minding my own business, when three white Australian dudes wandered next to me and muttered “coronavirus” before quickly slinking away.

Speaking of the coronavirus, the GOAT team dissect the biggest talking points surrounding the disease on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

Having read and reported on how racism has been ushered back to the forefront in Australia due to the coronavirus outbreak, it was a bit of a shock for it to personally happen to me.

I’ve had idiots mockingly say “ching chong” to me countless times over the years – something I’m sure almost every Asian-Australian and Asian immigrant has encountered – so why is this coronavirus muttering incident grinding my gears so much more?

Some will probably see this as nothing more than some idiots in Australia trying to amuse themselves and their mates with a casual coronavirus joke, to which my response is: Come up with better material because all it does is expose you as an arsehole.

I guess when we consider what’s happened around the world over the last few years, particularly the start of 2020, this muttering of “coronavirus” to me and other Asians is more than just morons trying to show off to their mates with a racist joke.

This isn’t just another example of how racism is still so prevalent in Australia – we’ve known that well before the coronavirus outbreak occurred due how entrenched it is in all rungs of our country. It’s more an eye-opener on how quickly people (and not just those in Australia) turn to racism during a time of crisis.

It’s easier for people to fall into a narrative that best suits their comfort zone and intellect than accept the truth. Given Australia’s history of racism, it shouldn’t be a surprise that people are embracing xenophobic views due to the coronavirus outbreak, especially with all the misinformation going around.

Of course that’s not to generalise all Australians as racist because they’re not. But the fact that I even have to say “but not all Australians are racist” speaks to just how ingrained racism is in our country and how much further we have to go when it comes to tolerance.

It’s not hard.

There’s a lot to process these days and like my rant on the coronavirus breaking down whatever relationship I had with my mum, I suppose this is my way of working through the disappointing reality that Australia is not as tolerant as I naively thought it was. I put more faith into the country and its people than it deserved and paid a price for it.

It’s just disappointing that after nearly three decades of being a citizen of Australia, the racism problem in our country has not gotten any better and all it took was a strand of coronavirus from China to expose people for who they really are.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Here's What You Need To Hoard For The Looming Coronavirus Pandemic

But don't buy that apocalypse bunker just yet.

The coronavirus outbreak has continued to spread across the world and into countries we didn’t probably didn’t expect a few weeks ago, such as Brazil, Italy, Israel and Iran. With people are worried that containment of the disease may not be effective, Australia has decided to jump the gun by declaring the coronavirus to be a global pandemic and will treat it as such, meaning they’re going to start doing things like hoarding supplies and implementing stricter travel bans.

Speaking of the coronavirus and pandemics, the GOAT team talk about the biggest talking points about the disease on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

First thing’s first, what exactly does it mean now that the coronavirus has been declared a pandemic (in Australia)? According to infectious diseases expert Sanjaya Senanayake, who spoke to SBS News, there’s no “official” definition for a pandemic but generally means when a disease has crossed international borders, local transmissions have occurred in multiple countries and there’s a real chance that the world could fall sick from it.

The last time we had something on this scale was 2009’s H1N1 influenza pandemic (also known as the Swine flu pandemic), where hundreds of millions contracted the disease and hundreds of thousands died.

Australia’s the only country (at the time of writing) to declare the coronavirus as a global pandemic while the World Health Organisation has officially labelled the disease a “public health emergency of international concern” following 81,000 confirmed cases of people around the world having contracted the infection, and over 2,800 confirmed deaths.

So why haven’t the WHO done an Australia and declared the coronavirus a pandemic? Well that’s to prevent unnecessary panic, stigma, and as we’ve unfortunately seen since the outbreak, racism, especially since not everyone understands what the word “pandemic” means.

Okay, so what should you do (i.e what should you start hoarding) now that Australia has labelled the coronavirus a global pandemic? Well the first thing you shouldn’t do is rush down to your local supermarket in a panic and empty out all the shelves the name of hoarding long-lasting food and toilet paper for the impending apocalypse.

We’re one of the most prepared countries on this green(ish) earth when it comes to a coronavirus pandemic and the disease is contained within Australia at the moment so there’s no need to panic over anything. When Australia’s emergency health response plan for the coronavirus is implemented (which we’ll get into in a bit), it will likely mean some disruption in our everyday lives so some extra preparations will be needed.

Experts (via ABC) said that there’s still time and everyone should start taking stock on whether they have enough essential foods for them and their pets, as well as other useful supplies like toilet paper, medicine and face masks. It is recommended that people should simply think ahead and just buy a few extra groceries on top of their usual weekly shopping list and setting those aside should there be any interruptions to supplies.

So for those thinking about preparing their apocalypse coronavirus bunker and hoarding an entire supermarket’s worth of supplies and face masks, there’s no need to do that.

Lastly, what is Australia’s response after announcing it will start treating the coronavirus as a global pandemic? The government published its response to the coronavirus, which outlined what actions it could take.

At the moment, Australia has:

  • Activated a National Incident Response Centre
  • Released masks and medical equipment for a national medical stockpile
  • Called in the Australian Medical Assistance Team

As for what specific actions Australia could take in light of a coronavirus pandemic, state and territory governments will be responsible for things such as:

  • Cancelling large gatherings and public events (to prevent the disease from potentially spreading further)
  • Getting people to work from home
  • Boosting the capability of hospitals in anticipation of increased demand
  • Operating public health responses
  • Identifying those infected (known as “contact tracing”)
  • Implementing “social distancing” measures, which means things like closing down schools and workplaces, quarantining people, and
  • Distributing medicine and implementing infection control guidelines

So for those who are worried about the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, there’s no need to panic hoard or stress as we’re ready to combat whatever the disease has to throw at us.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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