Seen as we have had a lull in domestic Covid-19 cases, I thought it would be interesting to see what people have been doing to plan / prepare / act for Covid-19.
Obvious high uncertainty about how the situation will end up for NZ.
In my eye's the situation in NZ could end up anywhere from basically the status quo (economic slowdown focused on some sectors like hospitality, supply shortages for things like light-switches, vacuum cleaners, paracetamol), to the situation in Wuhan & Italy (hospitals badly overloaded, people locked down to their houses).
Most likely outcome will be somewhere in the middle, bit it is anybodies guess. Potentially large gatherings will be banned, perhaps including schools and daycares closed, and perhaps a work from home if you can instruction given.
I like to plan for the worst, even if the odds of that case are low.
I would like to note that even in the worst case situation (based on wuhan and Italy), the following is likely:
- Food supply chains will remain up (In wuhan intially one person from each household was permitted to leave the house to get supplies once a week. This was then tightened to supplies being delivered by social workers. I think only the first situation is feasible in NZ) - Should note that NZ is likely to be one of the best locations in the world to be in if there is a food supply crunch.
- Fuel supply chain is likely to remain up. (world is awash with oil due to reduced demand coupled with squabbling withing the oil cartel...)
- Utilities such as power, water and sewage will remain up.
- People working in critical industries will be needed to work if well.
- Healthcare industry is likely to get slammed.
As such stockpiling many months worth of food and toilet paper is not very rational - and actually can crush supply chains.
That said if you do want to stockpile, do it early as it gives supply chains more time to respond.
I have what I think it two weeks worth of supplies on hand, which I feel is prudent, given we are reasonably young and don't have chronic illnesses. It is kinda nice that when the supermarket runs out of cheap hand soap or tissues, we have enough on hand that we don't need to buy the expensive stuff.
Note that the USA CDC has advised people over 60 or who have chronic illnesses like diabetes to stock up on goods and buckle down for a lengthy stay at home. The situation in the USA is quite a bit worse than here, so no need to follow that advise, but consider that similar advice may be issued for NZ. Again if you want to stock up, please do so early.
I think it is best to focus on zero cost and low cost thing you can do to be ready. Money on hand is good to have in an economic downturn
In terms of what I have done to get ready
- I am not currently working, so the potential closure of school's & daycare's won't impact me.
- My Wife is fully geared up for working from home (and does a few days a week). That said, we own the business, and due to upstream.
- Have 2 weeks supplies on hand, with a bit extra of the things that are both important and may become hard to find - hand soap, dish & clothes washer powder, disinfectant, baby supplies
- Have expanded our first aid kit, to mean we can handle a bit more stuff at home.
- Not booked any overseas travel
- Sold some shares to increase our emergency fund, incase we need to inject money into the business to keep staff.
- Started being more frugal - linked with above.
- Started mild social distancing - Minimising public transport use, choosing outdoor child activities over indoor ones etc.
Keen to hear what other's are doing.
As a closing remark - Please be rational. I don't consider buying comically large amounts of toilet paper to be rational.