Handshake replaces Footshake, air kisses, loo rolls hysteria: Virus changes routines

By: News Desk      Published: 05:11 PM, 5 Mar, 2020
Handshake replaces Footshake, air kisses, loo rolls hysteria: Virus changes routines

Aside from bridging their differences on the effect of the coronavirus on the market, the OPEC diplomats assembled for a meeting in Vienna also had to accommodate changes to their routines.

Two medical workers were on hand to screen the temperatures of all those entering OPEC headquarters for the meeting.

OPEC's Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak were seen in a video tweeted by the organisation attempting a "footshake", gently bumping the sides of their feet together in a more hygienic alternative to a handshake.

The cartel has also taken the extraordinary step of barring access to its headquarters for the media due to the "risk that would come from convening such a vast number of people in one place".

No kissing

Governments are scrambling to contain the spread of the virus.

New measures in Italy - where 11 towns with 50,000 have been under quarantine - include a month-long nationwide ban on fan attendance at sports events, and advising people to avoid greetings like kissing on the cheek or shaking hands, but they can air kisses if they want.

Man tasered in toilet paper scrap

A fight over toilet roll ended with a man being tasered, Australian police said Thursday, as coronavirus concerns drive panic buying. 

Police were called to a store in the New South Wales town of Tamworth, about four hours drive north of Sydney, after the man allegedly lashed out and attacked another customer and a worker.

Coronavirus fears have triggered runs on several products, including hand sanitizers and face masks, with images of shoppers stacking trolleys with toilet rolls spreading on social media.

A fiery truck crash in Brisbane on Wednesday night further fuelled concerns after it was revealed it to be carrying loo roll.

But supermarkets and manufacturers urged calm, reassuring customers that deliveries were increasing to compensate for the demand.

Two major supermarket chains have also limited purchases on toilet paper to help quell the stockpiling. 

Darwin's daily paper, the NT News, made light of the loo roll hysteria, printing several blank pages for their readers to use if worst comes to the worst. "We've printed an eight-page special lift-out inside, complete with handy cut lines, for you to use in an emergency," the paper's front page read.