Coronavirus: Should You Panic?

Coronavirus: Should you panic? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read this question in social media groups this week, I would be retired on an island sipping umbrella drinks in the sand. 

Here’s the deal about panic. It leads to stupid decisions. Not only stupid decisions, but wasted money. When I say don’t panic, I am not saying to ignore the virus or the fact it exists and can easily spread. In my little corner of the globe, Coronavirus has made an appearance in my state, and two neighboring states as well. That is definitely concerning. Does that mean I should run out and buy out the grocery store? Nope, and neither should you. 

I’ve seen a lot of people asking about buying large amounts of pantry staples and if they are an absolute requirement. These would include things like rice, beans, oatmeal, grains. Here’s my take on food. If you don’t eat it now, don’t run out and buy copious amounts just because you may be willing to eat it if you’re hungry. 

I understand the fact that when you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything. Anyone who has ever gone on a diet and eaten weird things that are gross when not dieting understands this to be completely true. But why go through that? Morale is a big part of prepping that I think is too often ignored. In an emergency, comfort food or items will be a big deal. This is especially true if you have kids because it can make or break their day and yours too. 

My advice there is to simply stock up on what you already eat now, and rotate your stock as you use it. If you need tips on how to do this, check out my post Prepper Pantry Organization or Food Storage tips. These will help you get going on food prep and storage. 

I incorporate freeze dried foods into my meals with Nathan all the time. I have tried everything I stock, and I recommend you do the same thing. If you like it now, you will love it in an emergency. The quarantine period for the virus is 14 days. I would make sure to have enough food and water to last at least that long. 

Common sense also plays a big role in how to avoid getting sick. Hand washing is a really big deal. Let’s be real for a moment. People are gross and don’t use common sense nearly as much as they should. I am a stickler about hand washing when I am out and around germs. I wash my hands when I go into a restaurant before eating and when I am done. Same thing goes when I head to the gym every day. I’m sure I pick up germs wherever I am, but I go out of my way to leave them there too. Vehicles are small confined spaces, and I’m not excited to track germs into my vehicle when I leave somewhere. 

Clean eating is also important. Avoid processed foods. Making food from scratch isn’t difficult. The biggest problem with processed food is that someone else made it. That’s the best way to contract an illness. Even fresh fruit in the grocery stores that have been pre-cut can contain a ton of germs. Buy a whole fruit and cut it up yourself. Avoid fast food as well. It is incredibly processed and then cooked by someone else who may very well be sick. 

If you are sick, stay home. Don’t go out and just power through the day because you are just spreading germs everywhere. Stay home, self-quarantine and get better. Clean, clean, and clean some more too. Cleaning prevents others from getting sick around you, and further spreading germs and viruses. 

I’ve said it earlier, but it is worth repeating. Wash your hands. But this also goes for your cell phone, jeans, and anything else we touch consistently. My computer mouse is another hot spot for me, or the tv remote. I wipe my phone down once a day, after I’ve come home from whatever I’m doing, errands, gym, playing Pokemon Go, or anything else. I set my phone down often, other people hold and touch it, and it sits in my pocket. It’s just gross. Cleaning it after all of that each day is a big deal because my phone touches both my hands and face. 

Which brings me to another point. Minimize touching your hands to your face. That’s the best way to transfer germs we’ve picked up somewhere. When I take a shower I know that I’m going to touch my face to rub the eye boogers out, for example. The first thing I do is wash my hands because if I don’t, I’ll probably touch my face without thinking. I know myself enough to pay attention to things like that. If you know when and where you’ll forget something basic, take steps to avoid it and create good habits. 

Avoiding large crowds and groups of people is also extremely helpful. According to the CDC, “close contact” with an infected person is coming within six feet or less of them. Go grocery shopping early in the morning or late at night when there are less people out. Also take frequency of trips into account as well. If we can all minimize how often going to the store is needed, we can minimize exposure as well. This goes for going anywhere where large numbers of people congregate as well. 

Let’s go back to the question about panicking. Should you panic? Nope, and here’s why. This virus is serious, yes. I’m not downplaying it at all. But it isn’t the first aggressive or easily spread illness that has gone around. Think about SARS, the swine flu, mad cow disease, just to name a few. Being more prepared and using common sense will keep you much safer than anything. 

I’ve been noticing that store shelves are being emptied as the Coronavirus is being reported more and more. Prices also go up. When demand skyrockets, so do prices. If there is a profit to be made, someone is certainly going to take advantage of that. Which is a huge reason to be prepared for anything to happen. This is why I talked about food storage earlier. Having food and water on hand will benefit everyone. If we are confined to the house because of the illness, there is food. If the goal is simply to minimize how much we are going out and around people, there is food in the house. 

Panic doesn’t do anyone an ounce of good. Using common sense and responsible decision making does. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t all at risk for contracting the virus, or we are safe from it. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes no matter how many precautions we take, it can still happen. But I know that I am far better off being prepared instead of panicking. I just watch the news and keep an eye on the progression of the virus and do as much as I can to keep myself safe and be ready if I need to stay at home. 

Please note that none of these things I talked about here are a guaranteed way to prevent contracting the virus. It can happen, no matter what we do. However these precautions will go a long way in keeping you healthier overall. If you are sick or showing any symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Are you worried about the Coronavirus? Have you taken steps to be better prepared? Tell me about them in the comments! 


  • Scott DeNicola

    In NY we haven’t hit high panic mode yet but I have seen some states that are out of water and TP in stores like COSTCO. I haven’t heard of this “pandemic” affecting drinking water so that one baffles me a bit. You are so right though. Every year or so there is another disease that will wipe out all living beings and then it’s gone. Don’t disregard Coronavirus but treat it like the flu. Wash your hands and don’t stand around sick people. Not to talk funny stuff during all of this but I read a stat recently that 38% of Americans won’t drink Corona beer because of this virus. If society has become that dumb from social media then it’s time to turn in our phones and laptops.

  • Sarah

    The coronavirus has existed for decades; however, the latest one is very deadly in comparison because of how fast the RNA cells replicate. If an older or younger person or someone with a compromised immune system catches this particular form, they will basically die. Even washing your hands and taking the proper measures will not escape the virus. I have actually had another form of this. I caught it within a few hours. I didn’t die, but felt like I wanted to. Antibiotics, nothing helped. What helped me was shoving peppermint oil up my nose. Although I don’t recommend this, this is what helped me. The strain I had though wasn’t as bad as this one. I pray no one catches this, as I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  • Geneva

    I understand that the main concern with this virus is having to go to places where many people gather, like the grocery store. So I can see why people would want to stock up now before it hits their little corner of the world, assuming that it does.

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    This article offers such great and timely advice in the current circumstances. I am a total believer in ‘be alert, not alarmed’ and so I completely align with your outlook on the attitude we should take on the development of coronavirus to date. Love the tips and practical measures you have included here and I hope more people adopt this position to see us through this time.

  • Britt K

    Great points made! Panic is the opposite of common sense and it leads to SO many wild and stupid choices. You just have to sit back and watch what’s happening now, the same kind of panic that happened so many times in the past… SARS, H1N1… How do we not learn from each situation as a population? Each time panic set in, only for people to realize afterward that their ‘preparations’ were unnecessary or impractical when everything settled down and they took the time to look back. I’m not saying ignore the fact that there is a risk… However, there are ways to protect ourselves without completely going crazy. Let’s start with the basics of handwashing – a skill that is far too often overlooked!

  • Claire

    I am far from panic mode but I do fear that my normal weekly shop is going to be fairly sparse! I don’t have the room for stock piling even tinned and dried goods unless we stored it on the sofa and sat on it but I noticed how empty the supermarket was last week and by all accounts the threat in the UK continues to rise.

    I really don’t think panicking is going to help in this situation x

  • Sarah

    I am only slightly worried about the coronavirus, mostly because I have bad lungs so even the regular flu can hit me hard. Otherwise, I am remaining cautious. Yes, I have made sure we have enough food and supplies should we need to stay in the house for a few weeks, but that’s something that we always have on hand. Otherwise, I am simply keeping track of the updates and seeing if/when it’s in my area. So far, the closest city with confirmed cases is about 16 hours away, but it could come into my neck of the woods eventually.

  • Trish Veltman

    Two cases confirmed in New Zealand now, and some people are starting to panic buy so supermarket shelves are empty.
    If only they would read the sensible advice like this article.

  • Dreams Abroad

    Love your blog post about the Coronavirus! Avoid processed foods are evil. I think the news hypes this virus up to much. It is not as bad as they say it is. Just wash your hands and cover your mouth.

  • Lene Andersen

    This was incredibly restful reading. I know I can rely on you for a sensible approach to most things and this was no different. Because like you said — panic doesn’t do anybody any good, except people who make money off of it. I haven’t bought up the grocery store in a panic, but I did stock up on a couple of things that were running low, and maybe bought an extra (not a lot of storage in a one-bedroom apartment, so I tend not to have too many cans of black beans, say. Now I have 2 or 3). People are going to little crazy up here in Toronto, as well, but it seems to go in waves, depending on news reports.

  • Luna S

    Great list of tips! Working in the health care field things have been a little crazy for all of us, most retirement homes, hospitals, etc want to be safe and buy lots of face masks, isolation gowns, etc but the issue is there is a huge back order on everything right now and a lot of people are buying unneeded items as well which seems like a waste.

  • Julia

    I agree that panic is the last thing we should do. You are giving good tips for the precautions that could be taken in order to stay well during this spread of coronavirus. One other thing we all should do is to train our immune system better BEFORE the danger comes. The latest trend (before the pandemic spread of coronavirus) of sanitizing everything in everyday life is not the best approach to staying healthy.

    Thank for teaching a reasonable approach to the situation.

  • Thuy-Linh Phan

    Panic is not a rational answer, thanks for sharing alternatives such as being prepared and using common sense and caution instead. What bothers me is people capitalizing from the panic, for example selling hand sanitizers and face masks at ridiculously inflated prices

  • Krystel

    When you look at the statistics of the coronavirus, it’s clear that panicking is not the right thing to do. The flu has a higher mortality rate. I agree with you, wash your hands and disinfect your items often

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!