The World Health Organization (WHO) has now officially declared the Coronavirus (Covid-19) a global pandemic. While the risk still remains low of actually being exposed to and contracting Covid-19, panic across the globe has most definitely begun to set in. With public figures including prominent government leaders and celebrities now coming forward with confirmed cases of the virus, people are looking at their own situations and realizing a prolonged quarantine might not be just a pipe dream anymore. So in the spirit of panic-buying, here’s a list of what to stock up on so that you’re prepared to weather a coronavirus quarantine.
1. Cold Hard Cash!
Who uses cash anymore, right? Well it’s not the worst idea to put a side a little bit of dough should the need arise. During times of crises scams tend to increase, demand on digital infrastructure goes up and there’s likely going to be fewer employees working to resolve these issues in a timely manner. So in case your card gets compromised or the payment network goes down, don’t get stuck without a means of payment for the essentials.
2. Prescription medications
It is widely recommended to keep a minimum of 1 month’s supply of any required prescription medication. This is definitely the most critical item on this list. As the stress on the health-care system intensifies, the last thing you want to be doing is waiting around for hours in line at a pharmacy or in a crowded hospital. If you have other over-the-counter medication requirements, make sure to stock up on those as needed. Cold-related remedies are likely to sell out quickly as the outbreak intensifies.
3. Non-perishable foods
Government organizations recommend stocking up on 2 weeks worth of food, especially if you have dietary restrictions or special requirements. This is likely a short-term precaution as the initial panic-buying will begin to stabilize. And with most supply-chains still intact, the shelves will re-fill within a few days to a week. There is minimal worry about prolonged food shortages, so don’t go crazy and buy up the entire aisle of canned soup. But keeping a few non-perishable essentials around the house is definitely a good idea in case you get sick . You definitely don’t want to risk spreading the virus around further.
4. First aid/ emergency kit
The one true area of concern during this whole coronavirus panic is a lack of access to medical care. For non-critical patients, wait times can become excessive, especially during triage situations. With this in mind, it’s a great idea to have some first-aid supplies at the ready. Here’s a fully-stocked first-aid kit that will help fix you up and keep you out of the hospital.
5. Cleaning supplies
Store shelves have been absolutely decimated in recent days. If you’re looking for hand sanitizer or Lysol wipes…good luck! You can try online (Amazon is selling Lysol wipes for modest prices) but you might want to hurry before they all sell out, or the prices go sky high. If you can’t secure any of these ready-made wipes, put your panic on hold! There are plenty of other ways to disinfect your household surfaces. Disinfectant spray (Lysol, Clorox, or Greenworks) and paper towels will do the trick just fine! You can also use a diluted bleach or vinegar solution for a more DIY approach, which will save you a few bucks in the long run.
6. Pet food and supplies
To all the pet lovers out there, don’t forget about your cute, fluffy little friends. They need to eat and play too! Stock up on some food, toys, litter etc. Maybe even get a few extra yummy treats to keep the little guys happy! And same as in #2, make sure to stock up on any medications they might require. There hasn’t been a run yet on pet supplies, so grab the deals while you can!
7. Baby Supplies
While you might consider your pet your 2nd child, don’t forget about your first born! Baby food, formula, diapers etc. are essentials that are in high demand. Don’t risk your child’s safety, comfort or health.
8. Fill up the tank!
Due to escalating herd mentality and panic buying, it doesn’t hurt to fill up your tank. Gas stations likely won’t run out of gas (or if they do, it will not be prolonged). But filling up now means you can skip the lines and avoid any nasty surprises in case some pumps do run dry in the high-traffic areas. Plus, with all the chaos out there and a renewed oil price war in the middle-east, might as well get it while it’s cheap!! 80c per litre? Yes please!
A couple weeks in the house doesn’t have to suck! Dodge the boredom and get some activities lined up. Why not reconnect that Netflix or Amazon Prime account, grab a few books, and pick up a few games to play with the family. Also, what better time to challenge yourself by learning something new through an online course, or perhaps starting a new hobby!
10. SKIP the toilet paper…seriously
Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent etc. Most of these products have massive supply chains within North America. The likelihood of a sustained distribution issue is exceedingly low. Panic buying has led to several arbitrary products being sold out across the country. But North-American pulp and paper companies, like Georgia-Pacific, have come out recently and stated that they have more than enough supply to go around. Stores that are temporarily sold out should be restocked within days, not weeks. Your standard shopping list of a package of toilet paper, a few rolls of paper towel and 2L tub of detergent should easily last you for a 2 week quarantine (I’d hope).