If we know anything about global pandemics, or how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out, it’s that people tend to not react in an organized, calm manner. While the death toll is growing and must be taken seriously, qualified medical practitioners do probably know best.

This means that doing DNA activation meditations, drinking essential oil elixirs made from garlic or hoarding 67 rolls of toilet paper isn’t going to make the virus—which cannot be fought with antibiotics (so stop asking!)—any better.

Panic and chaos, and a growing fear that people won’t be able to access prescription medication, can cause major lapses in judgment and…so who better than pharmacists to tell the tale of coronavirus-induced delusion?

One Reddit user, Sasdestroyer394, asked:

Pharmacists of Reddit, what’s the most stupid things you’ve seen people do because of Coronavirus? from r/AskReddit


“Using condoms to touch door handles and elevator buttons.”—K3V3L


“One of my friends works in a pharmacy and for a major national chain. In addition to people trying to stockpile prescription meds, this past week alone she said she has seen people: Ask if they can get “packs” of Tamiflu, without going through insurance or a doctor, which would be insanely expensive anyway.

Ask when they can schedule another flu shot to “dose up to prepare” complaining to her about them not wearing masks at the pharmacy, to which she replies that masks are actually primarily for infected people, and they lose their shit in response people complaining to her that there aren’t more masks to stockpile In the first place.”—quickthrowawaye


“Ask if they can get “packs” of Tamiflu, without going through insurance or a doctor, which would be insanely expensive anyway.”—ccai


“We are out of isopropyl alcohol and aloe gel, because people are trying to DIY their own hand sanitizer. I had a woman come ask me if she could substitute witch hazel for alcohol since we were out. Gonna say that’s probably a no. Other interesting tidbits: Our script volume has increased by at least 100 per week due to stockpiling that others mentioned Saw a lady with fifteen bottles of bleach in her basket. Like the gallon-size jugs.

The cold & flu section is basically nonexistent at this point. We still have some zinc, but that’s not gonna do a damn thing. At least one person approached the counter and, upon being told we were out of the usual requests, asked if he could purchase antibiotics. (Prescription only where I live.) My store had a sign up limiting customers to six soaps per purchase due to high demand. IMO that’s still a little much.”capri1722


“Titos handmade vodka had to put out a press release a couple of days ago telling people not to use thier vodka to make DIY hand sanitizer because, No. Just no. It’s not strong enough. Hand sanitizer needs to be 60% alcohol and Titos is only 40%.”—Lyn1987


“My wife was asking our pharmacist about this the other day. Some people are stockpiling up to a years worth of meds. Insurance doesn’t pay for more than three months at a time. Most start yelling at that point. Some then concede and pay it out of pocket, forgoing insurance paying for up to 70-90% if the cost just so they can have a one years stockpile. I’m in Canada. It isn’t that prevalent up here yet.”—ruval


“Not understanding that insurance will not give you 6 months of meds upfront. Not understanding basic hand hygiene Not understanding most masks will not protect you from the virus. And my exchange yesterday.

No, we don’t have masks and gloves Yes they’re all made in China No it’s not a Chinese diabolical plan Sure stuff should be made in America. Yeah like the president said. Ok, ma’am have a good night.”—rofosho


“I work in pharmacy and we’ve had people INSIST and argue with us about purchasing the giant communal hand sanitizer we have behind the dispensary for the staff…I wonder how people can be that stupid.”tiddyH0


“Pharmacist at a Canadian hospital here. We’re being threatened with “I’m not paying, my drug plan needs to pay! (Even though I’m 63 days early out of 90 days) I’m going to contact my Member of Parliament, you’ll be hearing from them!””duckysaysmeow


“Aussies have gone crazy buying toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, soap, tinned food, nappies, and formula and long life milk all because they think the supplies will dwindle to nothing. It’s at the point that shops are selling out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and tissues, people are fighting over the last packets and shops have put limits on how many people can buy.”—SarcasticAussie


“Buying newborn-size disposable diapers to use as masks.”—nyxpetalswipe


“Grab 5 packages of water bottles because there is going to be an ‘apocalypse.'”joizz110


“Ask why we can’t just give them the regular flu shot….”—LongDuckDongus


“The weirdest questions that I have had asked is where the medication was manufactured. This is a pain to look into especially after it was bottled. Most of the medications are manufactured in China but that won’t make a difference on the safety of the medication. And as other people have already said, when the patients ask to stock up on the medication past the limits. Like wtf Karen. We already converted you to a 90 day supply and we won’t give you more for now.

…I feel like the most irritating interactions that I’ve had with patients is when they just start being racist against Asians and say that we shouldn’t serve them to stop the spread of the disease. I’m not even Asian, I’m white and this irritates the crap out of me. I don’t have any patience for the patient.”darkdeath561


“Patient asked if he can gargle with bleach bc he heard it from the internet that it would help fighting the Coronavirus. What in the world ????? Why would people even post this online…”ilovehichew


“Buy up all the face masks when they aren’t infected and have no exposure and creating a shortage for those who actually should be wearing them.”badasteroidcoe


“Accuse pharmacists and pharmacies of hoarding and controlling supply.”Mist3rTryHard


“People using vinegar to wash hands because some stupid self thaught chemist shared a video on WhatsApp saying that it would kill the virus better than Purel.”hornybuttsad7


“Am pharmacist. Besides the fact that we’ve been out of hand sanitizer and masks for literally weeks, I have not seen one single person using a mask or taking advantage of the complimentary hand sanitizer bottle right next to the register. Customers have already started asking for medication specifically not made in China.”doxyisfoxy


“Someone today asked me for ANTIVIRAL soap “Because she read an article by a doctor who said that most soap is antibacterial but ‘NOT antiviral.'”maryisk


“Think that Boiled Garlic will cure everything.”swordsmanspoke


“I work at a Walgreens in Michigan and a lady came up to me and wanted me to throw out an Asian man as she thought he had coronavirus. I tried to have her chill out and told him that no one in Michigan had the coronavirus yet, but she wouldn’t listen.”bergy217

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*First Published: March 13, 2020, 9:57 am