BY ISABELLE BOUSQUETTE
If you’ve been following the COVID-19 headlines this week, you might be wondering what to buy to get ready for the Coronavirus. Don’t stress too much; the risk to New Yorkers is still low. So it’s definitely not the time to panic and buy 80 packs of toilet paper. (It’s New York – does anyone actually have the room to store 80 packs of toilet paper?) That being said, if you are feeling under the weather this flu season, it’s best to stay home and give your doctor a call. With that in mind, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a few extra things during your weekly shop. Generally, you might want enough essentials to last about 14 days. So what might these essentials be?
Here’s what to buy to get ready for coronavirus:
If you’re stocking up on food, remember to stick to canned, frozen and non-perishable food. That means fresh fruit and vegetables are not your best bet. Instead, stick to staples like pasta, rice, dried beans, frozen bread, dried fruit, frozen meat and frozen veggies. Other options for what you can buy include peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, UHT milk and nuts. And don’t forget to treat yourself. Sweet treats like ice cream or popcorn are always good to have on hand. They might not have as much nutritional value as other foods, but they are always great to stash in the cabinets for a little treat or craving, especially if you’re going to be keeping kids entertained indoors. Finally, if you have a baby, remember to pick up enough baby food/formula. And, if you have pets, don’t forget their food as well.
2. Hand sanitizer
The good news about coronavirus is that a decent disinfectant or hand sanitizer (alongside good hand-washing practices!) has been found to be very effective. Unfortunately, you might struggle to buy it over the counter these days. Several stores have reported selling out of hand sanitizer, and its prices have even been marked up on Amazon. If you do get stuck in a bind, then it’s actually easy to make your own hand sanitizer.
Stores have also reported selling out of surgical masks and gloves. If you didn’t manage to get your hands on them, don’t worry too much. Masks don’t do a very good job of preventing you from getting the virus. They’re mostly just effective at stopping you from passing it on. Similarly, gloves are likely to be ineffective because many things you touch while wearing them, you’ll also touch when you’re not wearing them. They’re also probably not going to stop you from touching your face anyway.
While we don’t foresee any instances when New York City would lose power or running water (remember this is different from storm preparations!) it’s always worth having a supply of liquids with electrolytes in case you get sick. Consider buying some gatorade or coconut water just in case.
If you take any regular medications, such as heart medication or insulin, it’s worth having at least a 14-day supply of those on hand. It’s also a good idea to grab cough drops or syrup since it’s sore throat season.
5. Home essentials
This includes anything you need to keep your household running. Think toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent, feminine products, tissue paper and diapers if you have a baby. If you have any pets, make sure to pick up anything they’ll need as well.
6. Other miscellaneous things you might’ve forgotten
If you’re buying canned goods, make sure you have a can opener. (It seems obvious, but can easily be forgotten.) Consider how you might entertain kiddos, so consider popping some books, board games or toys for small children into your cart.
Just remember not to panic!
It’s important to be cautious, but it’s equally important not to panic. Remember, there are only 11 confirmed cases in the state right now, and the risk to New Yorkers is still low. According to the NYC DOE, schools have no immediate plans to close. Right now, it’s still business as usual (with a little more hand-washing and a little extra grocery shopping).
This story originally appeared on newyorkfamily.com.