Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Making money of H1N1

You cannot go anywhere these days, turn on the TV, the radio or internet without hearing or seeing something about H1N1 or swine flu. It seems to be the topic du jour. This post is not about how to cure swine flu or how to prevent catching it, it is however on how to not be ripped off by all the institutions and people that want to profit off of this pandemic.

In Canada, thousands have lined up in malls and civic centres day after day to receive vaccinations. Most have lined up for 3 hours or more. Imagine being in a shopping mall with small children. They would at some point get hungry or bored. This would be a perfect opportunity for parents to get food or a toy to keep their child(ren) occupied. In this case, food courts and various stores will profit.

The obvious, are the pharmaceutical companies that are making billions off the vaccines and seeing an increase in their stock values. Then there are the others, like pharmacies that are seeing the sales of surgical masks go up (companies that produce surgical masks are turning profits), an increase in the sale of vitamins and cold and flu remedies. Health food stores that have a seen a rise in sales, as everyone is trying their best to prevent contracting swine flu. Hand-sanitizers are flying off the shelves, therefore producing profits for the manufacturers. In addition, companies that produce "anti-bacterial" anything are sure to see increase in sales.

It seems, if marketed correctly, anyone can make money off swine flu. As sad as it is, there are those that will try their hardest to capitalize off others' fears about this pandemic. As consumers, at a time like this, it is very easy to have fear drive our decisions. Although the intention is right, the motivation (fear) behind our decisions may not be. Fear is not a justifiable reason, because it only leads to panic and bad decision-making. Bad decisions always end up hurting us in our pocketbooks. In dealing with this event, one needs to take their time, assess and reassess, ask questions and most importantly, be logical. Do not be hasty to shell out your hard earned money on frivolous, dubious, unproven "stuff", because there are those out there who will be trying and waiting to get you to do just that. Good Luck!

Happy Shopping!!

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