A scare like COVID-19 has an immediate positive effect, in that I update my emergency preparedness. I have good intentions about such things and go out and get the necessary items, but then they are depleted by occasional use, or are no longer optimal, such as water in plastic storage. Serious preppers are prepared to weather an EMP, with seeds for the next year and gold to trade, but our most likely emergency is a power outage of a few days. Quarantining for two weeks requires more food that that, so I stocked up a bit, though I'm not sure I've got 14 days worth. Oatmeal. I should get oatmeal.
It doesn't hurt to go get the things you will use eventually. We did eventually burn all our Y2K firewood by about 2011.
Interestingly, my podcasts and reading both include heavy doses of discussion of plagues at this point. I'll be posting a bit on those. Short version: if you travel in time, stay away from 536 AD and thereabouts. (I assume all good time machines have a dial that shows you what year you are in, like Mr. Peabody used to have. Though these days it would be a digital display.)