The coronavirus pandemic is spreading around the world, bringing with it the risk of being unprepared for isolation or lockdown conditions - whether mandatory or voluntary.
Over 2.6 billion people worldwide are being instructed to observe lockdowns as a preventative measure against the spread of the virus. Most of the countries - including India, Britain, France, Italy and China - are imposing a mandatory confinement, while other countries have established curfews, quarantines or strong recommendations to stay at home.
American medical and emergency experts recommend having the following items at home during the outbreak:
A 30-day supply of medications
Make sure to have a 30-day supply of any medications you may need, says New Jersey board certified anesthesiologist Dr. Nina Radcliff, adding that a 90-day supply “would be even better.”
Connecticut-based paramedic Liz Connolly advised having a fever reducing medication like Tylenol in the medicine cabinet, to treat the fever in case you contract the virus, technically known as COVID-19.
In most places tap water is safe to drink, but for people living in areas where the tap water is not potable, it is best to stock up on water bottles or buy a water filter, according to Dr. Radcliff.
Connolly also recommends buying thirst quenching drinks such as Gatorade or Pedialyte, to help with dehydration in the event you do get sick.
Two-week supply of fruits and vegetables
Dr. Radcliff recommends having a two-week supply of fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts – which have a longer shelf life. Buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can serve to extend the shelf life.
Easily digestible foods
The World Health Organization has reported that common symptoms of the virus include fever, tiredness, and dry cough, while other symptoms include nausea and diarrhea.
“We are seeing an uptick of COVID-19 patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, so having foods in your pantry like plain crackers, applesauce, soup, and rice are recommended,” said Connolly.
Products to support mental health
Dr. Radcliff recommends items for self-care including films, games, crafts, books, and gardening tools. Quarantine can be an opportunity to connect with family - through activities like movies and games – and nature, according to Dr. Radcliff.
Keep emergency numbers at hand
Many states in the US and countries around the world are setting up specific hotlines for coronavirus questions and emergencies. Find out if there is a specific phone number that applies to you and keep all emergency numbers at hand.
What not to do: Hoard
People have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with panic buying, which Dr. Radcliff and Connolly advise against.
“Don’t panic, don’t go and hoard supplies, especially medical supplies like gloves and masks,” said Connolly.
“It’s important to remember there is currently no threat to the food supply, so there is no need to hoard,” said Radcliff. “Just because someone else is hoarding something, doesn’t mean you need to.”