What To Stock Up On For Coronavirus

The current coronavirus outbreak has affected more than 1,200,000 people globally. It is now present in about 208 countries with a growing number of cases in the US.

With the rapid increase in the number of new cases, you might be concerned about a potential restriction of movement and the need to stock necessary items for yourself and your family till the outbreak is curtailed.

While panic-buying or overstocking isn’t recommended, here are some things you should get in moderation.

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Hand Sanitizers

Both the CDC and WHO agree that sanitizing your hands often with alcohol-based gels reduces your risk of coming down with the virus. The virus is spread by respiratory droplets from sneezes and coughs, so if these viral-loaded droplets land on a surface and you touch the surface, you can contaminate your hands.

Your hands can then cause the virus to enter your body if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands. This is why a hand sanitizer is necessary.

Handwashing Soap

While hand sanitizers are good when you’re on the go, it is not a replacement for hand washing if your hands are visibly dirty. This is why you need to get a liquid handwashing soap in a proper dispensing bottle.

Hand washing should last about 20 seconds and doesn’t need to be anti-bacterial, a regular handwashing soap will do just fine.

Water

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, so you’ll have to ensure you have enough water to stay hydrated. A simple guide is 1 gallon per person per day (about 3-4 liters). This should take care of your body’s physiological water needs.

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Also, ensure you have running water from your taps at home, so that you can wash your hands as frequently as you need to.

Food

You should buy enough food to last you for about 2 weeks at a time. You should divide your food shopping list into perishable and non-perishable food items. You should stock more of the non-perishable ones, they can stay fresh for longer. While the perishable ones can stay for a few days at most in your refrigerator.

A list of food items you can buy include:

  • grains
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • butter or peanut butter
  • canned juices
  • canned beef
  • fruits

Paper Towels (Tissue)

Paper towels are necessary to cover up when you sneeze or cough. It is not advised that you sneeze or cough into your hands, instead you should do that into your elbow crevice or on a disposable tissue or paper towel.

You should stock up these to last you for about 2 weeks.

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Your Medication

If you’re currently on medication, you should stock enough for about a month. This is particularly important if you’re being treated for chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. If you were prescribed nutritional supplements, you should stock these too.

Thermometer

One of the common symptoms of coronavirus is fever, which can cause a person’s temperature to rise. You should get a thermometer to monitor yourself and your family.

The normal body temperature is 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) most often means a fever. If you will be sharing a thermometer, remember to disinfect it by rubbing the metallic part with an alcohol wipe or with a methylated-spirit soaked gauze.

For sanitary reasons, the infra-red thermometers may be better during this outbreak, they don’t require contact to measure the temperature of a surface.

Latest posts by Mahmoud Mokhtar, MBBS, MRCP (UK) (see all)
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