Aynur Tekin / DUVAR

Following the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Turkey, many people have rushed to supermarkets and stores to purchase bulk supplies of pasta, flour, cooking oil, lemon-scented cologne, and other staples, though medical experts say that a two-week supply is sufficient. 

According to Dr. Çağhan Kızıl, even those who are quarantined to their homes will not spend more than two weeks under quarantine, and buying dozens of packages of pasta, sacks full of legumes, and liters of lemon-scented cologne — a popular item in Turkey that has a fresh, citrusy scent and antibacterial properties — is unnecessary, and such purchases have spread paranoia among the public. 

Masks should be used by sick people

Kızıl also warned against the practice of purchasing and wearing surgical masks, as these masks do not serve as a preventative measure for healthy people, and should be used by people that are sick for the purpose of not spreading their illness to others around them.

The doctor emphasized that wearing masks or stockpiling cologne and pasta does not protect one from the virus, but changing one’s lifestyle and daily habits will. He said that the best way to limit spread of the disease is to limit contact with other people.

“What they did in China is now being implemented in other countries. Contact among people needs to be prevented. It is impossible to say something like ‘I’m not going to change my lifestyle, I’m going to do what I want but I’m going to wear a mask.’ We need to change this perception. At least for the next couple of weeks we should eat a bit less and not go to certain places,” Kızıl said.