Quinn Macmillan / Staff reporter

With the recent outbreak of the feared Coronavirus, the people of BC have took to the stores to buy face masks as a precaution in fear of catching the Coronavirus.

But with this fear comes people looking to profit off of this mass panic.

There have been multiple reports of people buying face masks from stores and selling them for a higher price to people who are afraid of catching the virus.

This very ethically questionable reselling game is taking advantage of the fear of uneducated or uninformed people who are looking to stay protected during this crisis.

Along with people buying and selling the face masks, stores have even increased their prices which are still less than the re-sold masks.

In Richmond on January 31, there was a report of a man selling boxes of masks to people from the back of his van for $40 a box.

Reports have stated that these people who are re-selling these masks wait outside of sky train stops, store fronts, and bus stops hoping to catch unsuspecting scared people off guard and peer pressuring them into buying these masks.

But instead of falling for these scams, Canadians should educate themselves and listen to the facts first.

As of February 3, in Canada there are only four confirmed cases of the Coronavirus which are all being held in quarantine.

But no one should be living in fear that every person they see will have this virus as all four infected in Canada got the Coronavirus after traveling back from China before the quarantine in Wuhan was activated.

With this virus being very new it is still unclear exactly how the virus spreads, but researchers do know that it is mainly from human contact.

But what is known is that if this virus is left untreated and for a lot of cases treated, the virus can be life threatening and has taken close to 900 lives in China as of February 10.

Medical experts have also stated that the effectiveness of face masks varies as some paper masks would have little to no effect if you were to run into someone with the virus, while more expensive, filtered masks would provide you better protection if worn properly.

In this time of fear for many, the public should keep up to date with the news for any new information on the virus, avoid being scammed and purchase face masks from a trusted store. Be sure to stay healthy and wash your hands regularly.