How to Prepare for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The Coronavirus has now infected about 200,000 known people across the globe. With the virus now being labeled a pandemic and more neighborhoods and countries are starting to quarantine parts of the population, we have researched what is needed to prepare for Coronavirus. Many people have bought a year’s supply of bottled water and toilet paper, but are severely lacking in other products that may be much more necessary if you are to catch the virus or be quarantined. You do not need to stockpile any supplies, just have enough to last about 14 days. Here is a list of how to properly for your household to prepare for coronavirus (Here is a list of ways to boost your immune system too).

  • Soap and Household Disinfectants. Studies have shown that washing your hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds is much more effective than using hand sanitizer. Washing your hands regularly is the top proven way to greatly reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. You do not need to purchase any special soaps or sanitizers, bar soap works perfectly. The virus can live on surfaces for multiple days, so purchasing disinfectant wipes and regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces may also reduce your household’s risk of contracting the virus. 
    • The CDC recommends diluted household bleach solutions, 70% alcohol solutions, and EPA-registered household disinfectants. 
  • Toiletries. Be sure to have the needed two-week supply of basic toiletries. This includes toothpaste, floss, face wash, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, moisturizers, and hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.
  • Food. As stated earlier, you do not need to worry about finding room in your home for a year’s supply of food, doctors and disease specialists have found that a few weeks’ supplies are perfectly sufficient. Keep an eye on what your household has in stock so you can get more of what is needed before you run out. Here are some examples:
    • Fruit: Canned in water, frozen, dried, or in puree form (applesauce)
    • Vegetables: Canned with low-sodium (green beans, carrots, peas), canned vegetable-based soups and chilis (low-sodium), frozen (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus), and jarred (tomato sauce)
    • Protein: Canned or pouched tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, and beans. Frozen fish, such as shrimp or salmon. Shelf-stable tofu, nuts, and seeds.
    • Grains: Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, ancient grains (quinoa), oats, and whole wheat bread (which you can freeze!)
    • Dairy: Shelf-stable boxed milk or powdered milk
    • Healthy Fats: Olive oils, avocado oil, and flax seeds.
    • Beverages: Water, low-sugar electrolyte beverages, protein/meal replacement shakes, and canned/boxed low sodium broth.
  • Water. Whether you store in from the tap or buy water bottles, having a two-week supply of water is necessary to make sure your household stays hydrated through the virus and potential quarantines. The U.S. water supply is not likely to be affected by the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Face Masks. It is recommended to wear a facemask if you are ill, especially when in crowded settings or when in unavoidable close-contact with others. Face masks worn by those who are sick can protect others.
  • Medication. Make sure your household has nonprescription drugs and health supplies on hand. These should include pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, electrolyte-enhanced fluids, and vitamins/supplements. These are known to help relieve the mild symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19. If you or anyone in your care takes prescription medications, make sure they have a continuous supply available in the home.
  • Pet Care. If you have a household pet, be sure to pick up extra supplies for their needs as well. This includes the necessary medications and food. If you are sick or unable to walk your pet to relieve itself, absorbent pads may be good to have on hand as well. Pets require just as much attention, care, and supplies as the rest of the household and are part of the equation when you prepare for Coronavirus.
  • Work and School. Stay up-to-date with what is happening within your community. There are some areas where jobs have enforced work from home policies and schools have moved to online learning. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options with your employer in case you contract the virus or need to be home to care for sick household members.
  • Plan of Action. Make a household plan to keep everyone informed and healthy. Stay up-to-date with local COVID-19 activity and stay aware of changes that may affect your daily routines. Advise household members to stay home if they are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms. Continue to practice preventive care, such as covering coughs, washing hands, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Have a separate room and bathroom (if possible) for those who are experiencing symptoms and avoid sharing personal items and avoid unnecessary contact.
  • Emotional Health. Outbreaks are a stressful time for both adults and children. Everyone responds differently to stressful situations. Talk with your household about the outbreak and be sure to stay calm and to prepare for Coronavirus. Reassure those under your care that they are safe. Have books, board games, and activities on hand for entertainment and stress relief.

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