Due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease 2019, commonly known as COVID-19, people in all parts of the world feared for their health. COVID-19 has infected millions of people and has claimed the lives of many. In a span of four months after it first stunned the world, it progressed from an epidemic to pandemic. Let’s have a quick vocabulary review. According to Merriam-Webster, a pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. This Corona Virus Disease has affected the whole world with thousands of cases in each continent (except Antarctica). Everyday, people fight for survival, no matter what the extent may be.
ON PANIC BUYING AND HOARDING
The Corona Virus Disease has a tremendous effect on everyone. It has changed a person’s priorities, and even one’s lifestyle. Among the effects of the Corona Virus Disease are panic buying and hoarding. People secured basic necessities, such as food and toiletries, even before the Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared. Among the things people buy and hoard are instant noodles, canned goods, milk, disinfectants, alcohol, hand sanitizers, face masks, and toilet papers.
Because of hoarding, the supplies for the said products got out of stock in just a few days. It caused chaos and panic among consumers. Those who can afford to buy in bulk wiped those products off the shelves of every supermarket there is, while those who depend on salaries must wait until payday. By the time payroll comes, they could not buy anything anymore. Suppliers, distributors, and sellers decided to control the purchases by allowing only a maximum quantity of item for every customer. It was a good move because there will be fair distribution of necessities.
One of the main products that ran out is alcohol. Each household made sure that they keep a bottle or two of alcohol at home. Every individual prefers to have an alcohol in their pockets for easy reach so that they can disinfect their hands wherever they go. Businesses who were allowed to operate even during the Enhanced Community Quarantine were required to disinfect the hands of every client and customer that enters their establishments.
Due to COVID-19, people do not feel safe anymore, unless they wear a facemask and bring alcohol along.
In case people failed to realize, germs and microbes are everywhere, to say the least. It is overwhelming how people only seem to care about their health because of COVID-19.
ON ALCOHOL USE VS HAND WASHING
It is true that alcohol can kill bacteria and viruses, that is why it is a popular disinfectant, especially with the COVID-19 outbreak. According to sciencing.com, alcohol is incredibly effective in the fight against single-celled microorganisms like bacteria. When a bacterial cell is exposed to a solution of alcohol, alcohol molecules bond with the molecules of the bacteria’s cell membrane, making it more soluble in water. This causes the cell membrane to lose its structural integrity and fall apart.
However, experts say that washing hands with soap and water is a more recommended option. Use alcohol only if hand washing cannot be done. Alcohol and hand sanitizers should be used as an alternative when soap and water is not accessible.
According to Dr. Athanasios Melisiotis of the University of Pennsylvania, “Hand sanitizer may kill viruses and certain bacteria, but it does not ‘clean’ your hands like soap and water do. Sanitizer doesn’t remove actual dirt and debris. Soap kills germs, binds them, and helps physically remove them, with the water, off your skin and down the drain.”
When washing your hands, always make sure that you are doing it the right way. Do not forget to sing the Happy Birthday song twice to guarantee that you get to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Going around town, some establishments have come up of a way to help prevent the spread of the virus. Wearing of masks is required, social distancing is observed, and yes, hand washing is encouraged. Along Mabini Avenue, where the provincial hospital is located, pharmacies and stores make sure that they have means to disinfect the hands of their customers. Since alcohol and hand sanitizers have been scarce, some of them placed water containers and soap in front of their businesses so that their patrons can wash their hands. It is a clever method, and at the same time, a cheaper option.
No matter what we do or how we do it, no matter how little or grand our actions may be, we must continue doing our parts as responsible citizens and help prevent the spread of the Corona Virus Disease.