They have listed some of the major dos, like ensuring you have a small amount of stock in your pantry in the event you need to self-isolate or be quarantined, and don’ts, like buying private health insurance on a whim.
So what type of precautions should you take?
As Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison implements a 14-day self-isolation strategy for travellers entering the country, the threat of coronavirus is causing some people to panic (supermarket in Sydney pictured)
DO keep the cupboards stocked
In the event that you’ll be asked to self-isolate for a fortnight you’ll need enough food and resources to last the distance, but that does not mean buying a year’s supply of toilet paper.
Instead just add a few extra canned items to your regular grocery shop and pick up some bags of pasta and rice if it’s available.
Not everyone has the ability or finances to buy in bulk so it’s important not to strip the supermarket shelves and leave some for the elderly and unwell, who are more likely to need it.
In the event that you’ll be asked to self-isolate for a fortnight you’ll need enough food and resources to last the distance, but don’t take this to mean you need to stockpile toilet paper in excess (stock image)
For a family of four, add these items to your shopping list:
1 x 5kg bag of rice
2 x 1 kg bag of quinoa
1 x 5kg bag of oats
1 x 1kg bag buckwheat
3 x bags pasta
1 x 5kg bag red or green lentils
1 x 2 kg bag of split peas
1 x 1 kg cannellini beans
7 x garlic bulbs
8 x brown and red onions
Assorted herbs and spices according to personal preference
9 x tins tuna
5 x tins sardines
1 x jar anchovies
3 x dozen eggs
7 x tinned tomatoes
1 x bottle apple cider vinegar or balsamic
1 x kg nuts of choice
2 bags x potatoes
2 x pumpkin
Source: Supercharged Food
DON’T buy private health insurance because of coronavirus
Your private health insurance status will not determine how you will be treated in the event that you contract COVID-19.
‘Do not buy or change your private health insurance policy because you’re worried about COVID-19. It will not affect the quality of your treatment,’ CHOICE health insurance expert Uta Mihm said.
‘If you become ill with COVID-19, you would likely be admitted to a public hospital with an intensive care unit and potentially isolation facilities. As a result, you likely won’t have access to benefits afforded by private health insurance, such as choosing your own doctor or getting a private room.’
If you already have insurance, continue with your payments for other needs, but it will not alter your quality of care in the case of contracting this virus.
Your private health insurance status will not determine how you will be treated in the event that you contract COVID-19
DON’T buy travel insurance now
If you bought travel insurance before the disease became a ‘known event’ in January, you might be covered for a small amount of money in the event you come down with coronavirus while overseas.
You might also be able to get some refund on your ticket in the event the country you’re travelling to closes its borders or enforces long quarantine periods.
But if you bought insurance after it was a known event, then you likely won’t be covered and therefore it’s not worth rushing out to do so.
The Smart Traveller website will be able to direct you depending on which side you fall into.
The Smart Traveller website will be able to direct you depending on which side you fall into
DON’T worry about your super
Despite the stock market crashes, super is a long term game and you can invest accordingly.
‘Given most people are more than a decade from retirement, they’ve got plenty of time to ride out the shocks. For those near retirement, it’s time to think about building up a cash buffer to cover your spending while the markets recover,’ Xavier O’Halloran from Super Consumers Australia said.
‘In fact trying to get out of high risk investments at the peak and back in at the bottom is highly unpredictable and can leave you chasing your losses.’
DON’T stockpile N95 masks
The only people that need to be wearing a mask are those who are infected, close to someone who is infected or working in an occupation like healthcare that puts you on the front line.
If you’re frequently on a packed train or plane you might consider donning one but you’re less likely to contract it if you’re speaking with someone for less than 15 minutes – even if they have it.
So buying masks in bulk will only serve to prevent those who actually need them from finding them.
The only people that need to be wearing a mask are those who are infected, close to someone who is infected or working in an occupation like healthcare that puts you on the front line (stock image)
DO buy disinfectant
An analysis of 22 studies on sister viruses to COVID-19 (such as SARS) showed that human coronavirus can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days, but can be efficiently inactivated by simple disinfecting, CHOICE said.
Chlorine bleach, isopropyl alcohol solutions and hydrogen peroxide are all good at preventing the spread of the virus, but avoid antibacterial soaps that claim to kill 99.9% of germs.
These can create ‘super bugs’ that breed from the 0.1% of bacteria that aren’t killed, and anti-bacterial products do nothing to stop the spread of a virus.