What I want to do in this weeks’ blog is to dial it back a bit, strip it back to the basics and to point out some things that everyone needs to be aware of.

Over the last week, we have seen cases of Coronovirus (COVD-19) in the UK, and this has sent what feels like the whole population in to a mass panic. Here at Astral we have been absolutely inundated with calls and orders for hand sanitisers as the population believes this will help them to not contract the virus.

  1. Wash your hands…… yes I’m sorry, I’m very aware that I am continually harping on about this but it has never been more important! Wash them for at least 20 seconds, and wash them after before and after you eat, after you have touched communal surfaces, after shaking hands, before you touch your face……..
  2. Get a hand sanitiser….. but it must be the right one! Your hand sanitiser must have an alcohol content of over 60%, and a lot of the ones that are being sold on the high street do not have a high enough alcohol content, so will struggle to kill anything….the hand sanitisers that we sell are over 60% alcohol.
  3. Beware of charlatans…. We had a man phone here yesterday, saying he could sell us some Purell Hand Sanitiser, which is interesting as we are a distributor for Purell, so sell it anyway! My colleague thought this was amusing, so decided to play along with this chap, and she asked him what sizes he could provide and what his price point was. He advised that he could sell us some Purell at the rate we are selling it on our website.  My colleague told him that was really interesting and then admitted we are a recognised distributor and told him that we had stock. He then turned the conversation around and wanted to buy it from us! She told him to buy it on our website.  So in essence he was ‘selling’ a product that he didn’t even have – and I wondered when she told me about this how many peoples’ money he had taken on the promise of a later despatch of their goods.  Make sure you are only buying from recognised distributors.
  4. COVD-19’s mortality rate is estimated to be 2% (as at the 3rd March) which is much less deadly than a lot of the recent outbreaks including Ebola (50% mortality rate), small pox and SARS and Mumps. The point I’m making here is that COVD-19 is another opportunistic virus and the symptoms in the majority of the population will just be mild cold symptoms – so everyone needs to stop panicking!
  5. Price, please make sure that you are paying ONLY market value for your hand sanitiser, on our website we have stock available and we have not inflated the prices. This is the right thing to do, once this epidemic is over, we will be left with our reputation, a reputation as a helpful, informed, and well stocked supplier who did not extort the situation.  Sadly a great deal of our competitors are not as ethical, which is a shame for the industry as a whole.
  6. Having a hand sanitiser will not make you immune to the virus, you must use it.  When you touch communal surfaces, after human contact…. when you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands.

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