How to avoid panic-buying, and useful tips how to spot COVID-19 scams
22 March 2020

Will Murray has been scanning the most reliable websites to find out what how we can protect ourselves against scams during the coronavirus crisis, and some tips on how to avoid panic-buying. These information announcements are published by as a public service.

In a number of countries, officials have expressed concern over panic shopping and stockpiling, which limits common access to essentials and raises the chance of infection in supermarkets.

Certain essential products such as toilet paper and hand sanitiser continue to be hoarded limiting access and causing unnecessary panic. To limit the strain, Governments are urging people to shop responsibly and take just what they need. The BBC have published a number of helpful guides on how to limit the amount of food we waste by buying items with long shelf lives. 

Additionally, a number of myths have come into existence regarding how the virus spreads and how people can protect themselves from it. Both the BBC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published guides as to what people may hear and what to ignore. The WHO's advice on limiting the spread of the virus remains:

- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

- Cough and Sneeze into tissues or your elbow;

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

- Practice social distancing;

- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and follow the guidelines of your local medical authority.

Sources and useful references:

Sky News - 'Coronavirus: Queues snake round car parks as panic buying intensifies'

BBC - 'How to cook brilliant store cupboard dinners on a budget'

WHO - Mythbusters

BBC News - 'Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore' 

NHS advice on symptoms and staying at home

source: These information announcements compiled by William Murray are published by as a public service.