MailOnline readers have revealed their essential stockpiling items and survival shopping lists as those worried about the shortage of anti-bacterial hand gel began sharing homemade sanitiser recipes to fight coronavirus.
Britons have already started panic buying water and canned food, with some even setting up ‘isolation’ rooms at home in case a pandemic shuts down their communities.
A shortage of germ-killing antibacterial gel has seen the prices skyrocket online with one racketeer trying to sell them for a 49p bottle for £1,000 on eBay – while Boots has said it is limiting sales of two bottles per customer.
But many health experts have said many pharmacy sanitisers don’t kill coronavirus because they contain less than 60 per cent alcohol – and washing hands for 20 seconds is far better.
MailOnline readers have sent in their stockpiled provisions, which includes staples such as bottled water, bin liners, Calpol and pet food – or more eclectic essentials such as Pot Noodles, exfoliating face wash and litres of beer and wine.
David Wharton filled his boot with 15kg of penne, 48 bags of crisps, 16 tins of beans and litres of Dettol said: ‘Better to be safe than sorry, if it all blows over won’t need to go shopping for weeks’.
Mel Cross wrote: ‘I’ve been stockpiling for weeks now. Had a feeling the situation would really get bad. Loads of toilet rolls, hand sanitiser, soaps, disinfectant, paracetamol. Been filling my cellar’.
MailOnline reader David Wharton filled his boot with enough staples like pasta and loo roll to last him for weels
Calpol, tinned ham, porridge oats, Pot Noodles and Calpol have been bought should a pandemic take hold in the UK
Mary Donovan shared this photo with MailOnline saying she was stockpiling beauty products
Beegee stands next to stockpiled stores including cat food with its owner Melanie saying: ‘ Don’t forget the animals!’
Prices of antibacterial hand sanitisers have skyrocketed because of shortages – this seller is trying to get £1,000 for a litre
Three steps to making your own hand gel at home – and how to use it properly
Surgical spirit online can be used to make an alternative to antibacterial hand gel
By a bottle of surgical spirit from a pharmacy or hardware store – which can be labelled ‘rubbing alcohol’. It must have a isopropyl alcohol level of at least 91%. These are around £5.
For a pleasant scent buy a 200ml bottle of pure aloe vera gel, which is widely available on the high street for around £3.
Take a pint (568ml) of isopropyl and combine with the entire bottle of aloe vera gel (200ml) and mix in a clean bowl with a plastic spatula. You can use an electric whisk or food processor.
Use a funnel to decant your gel into bottles. Recycled hand soap bottles with pumps would be best.
The bottles have a shelf life of six months if kept in a cool, dark place.
How to use:
Fill your palm with gel and rub for 20 to 30 seconds ensuring it covers your fingers and goes under nails.
Tiny 50ml bottles of the gel, which are usually available for just 49p in Lidl, are now being advertised for the astronomical prices on eBay and other auction websites – 2,041 times the usual price.
Tesco today declined to comment on the unusually high prices and the reports of low stock, while Asda, Sainsbury’s and Lidl have all been contacted but have yet to respond.
A spokesman for Boots, who have also seen stores sell out of hand sanitisers in recent weeks, said today: ‘We have seen an increase in sales of hand sanitisers but we still have stock available in our warehouses for stores and online.
The shortage led to Mumsnet users sharing recipes on a thread on whether to be stressed about lack of antibacterial hand gel in the shops.
One wrote: ‘Found this easy diy version but looking through it seems that any solution needs to be at least 60% alcohol. Perhaps decant into small containers for people to use when they are out’.
But a critic said people worried about a lack of hand gel are ‘deranged’ – and said they should just wash their hands thoroughly.
Families have been building up reserves to ensure their homes are ‘fit for a pandemic’ with some purchasing new chest freezers to fill with food and portable camp toilets to avoid sharing a loo if a relative tests positive for the killer virus.
On social media one panicked Briton revealed that they have turned one small room in their house into an ‘isolation zone’ equipped with cooking equipment, bedding and food if they have to be in quarantine for a fortnight.
Another Mumsnet user said: ‘I’ve cleaned and prepped the farm caravan so if needed it could be an isolation suite. Useful place to store surplus supplies, tinned food etc as well’.
Others are drawing up spreadsheets of the items they need to buy to last them weeks or months in self-isolation.
Professor Ratula Chakraborty, professor of business management at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said: ‘The prospect of whole towns being in lockdown and shops closed is heightening the fear and stockpiling may become rife’.
Experts believe the stockpiling of medicine and food in family homes ‘may become rife’ as people grow increasingly concerned about coronavirus disrupting British life.
Professor Chakraborty, said: ‘One big opportunity for the supermarkets may be home delivery, where online grocery retailers could see a bonanza as consumers shy away from visiting stores and instead prefer to shop from the safety of their own homes.
‘There is no immediate need to stockpile or panic buy any goods, but people should be prepared to help out and shop for vulnerable relatives and friends who are elderly or have underlying conditions which places them at a greater risk of developing severe symptoms if the coronavirus spreads.
This Tesco shopper picked up packets of microwavable rice, Dettol wipes and cold and flu tablets as people start stockpiling because of the coronavirus crisis
Superdrug and Boots has sold out of hand gel and face masks at their stores with emergency orders on their way
These bare shelves in a Boots pharmacy as panic buying over the UK took hold
Britons have admitted stockpiling items ranging from loo roll and tinned food to new freezers and toilets because of coronavirus
This Mumsnet user revealed her stockpiling shopping list on a thread called: ‘Prepping for a pandemic’, which included olive oil, dips, crackers, chocolate and printer paper
In a thread on coronavirus this user sent out her ‘dear husband’ to pick a large chest freezer to store more food
This user set out a plan for ‘a house fit for a pandemic’ once all the stockpiling is up to date
This user has confirmed she is buying powdered egg for baking in case fresh ones become hard to come by
‘Julie’ was looking to order a camp toilet for at home. Some are concerned about sharing toilets at home if someone falls ill
Some have revealed they are building spreadsheets with lists of items they have bought, use by dates and meal plans
British maker of £2,000 isolation pods ‘rushed of its feet’ with orders
One of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical isolation ‘pods’ today said it was ‘rushed off its feet’ with orders from around the world amid the coronavirus outbreak.
British company PPS (pictured) said it has had a ‘manic’ few weeks distributing the pods to hospitals, armed forces, and ambulance services worldwide.
The pods, which measure 200cm x 80cm x 50cm, are designed for the temporary isolation of a single person feared contaminated by an infectious disease. They cost £2,000.
In one discussion on Mumsnet, a poster asked if they were being unreasonable ‘to be considering a small stockpile or supplies because of corona?’
They added: ‘Reading about the Italian villages that have been put on lockdown and families can’t leave their homes has got me thinking…Italy isn’t a million miles away. It’s not a third world country. If it’s happened there…’
Almost 200 people responded to the message, with most saying they are also stockpiling tinned goods, toilet rolls and other supplies.
One said they were ‘filling the cupboard with soup, tomatoes, tinned fruit, flour, crackers etc in advance.
‘I’ll still eat them all, but they last for months anyway, and when people are surging into supermarkets stripping the shelves I won’t be adding to the masses worried they won’t have enough. I’ll be out of the way and not contributing to shortages
On Tuesday, an official at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the potential for ‘severe’ disruption to daily life in the event of coronavirus becoming a pandemic.
Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said there was a need for ‘new strategies’.
The CDC has been urging businesses, schools and families to prepare for a possible outbreak of Covid-19 in the US, including potentially allowing employees to work from home and internet-based lessons.
In the UK, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has said school closures could occur if the virus spreads, while people could be asked to stay at home with their families.
So which face mask should you buy to protect against coronavirus?
Experts have lab tested face masks used by NHS medics to try to stop patients giving them illnesses spread through the air like flu, ebola and other illnesses similar to coronavirus such as SARs.
The Health and Safety Executive uses a specialist machine that sprays water droplets at a person wearing a mask to accurately replicate being hit with a cough or a sneeze.
People wearing different types of mask were also sprayed five times from a metre away while breathing in. The same test was also done while standing still, walking towards someone and walking away to see how much, if any, of the spray got through.
Here are the best and worst performers:
Best – Mask respirator with filters – £22.99 from Screwfix