There is no denying it, the Coronavirus (COVID 19) is on everyone’s mind! As the virus continues to spread and things continue to shut down (sporting events, holiday parades, places of business, schools…the list goes on), everyone is asking how can I keep myself and my family safe and what do I need to stock up my pantry?
First of all, let me preface, I am not a health professional and I have nothing to do with the CDC, media or government. These are just my “Mom” common sense tips that I am implementing with my family.
- Educate yourself! – Don’t rely on social media or even the media to get all of your information. Go to CDC.gov to find out all of the facts about the virus.
- Wash your hands! – Ok, this may as well be the mantra for the year because we are hearing it everywhere! We are getting into the habit of washing our hands as soon as we come home. I’m even starting to have guests wash their hands as they enter our home. If you can’t wash your hands right away, have wipes or hand sanitizer on hand until you can get to a sink
- Have hand sanitizer on hand – I have hand sanitizer in the car. After you go to the grocery store, or doctors office, gas station, etc., use some sanitizer! If you have to use public transportation, carry some in your purse, bag, etc.
- Don’t touch your T zone – Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible.
- Keep a handkerchief in your pocket – You can use these to open door handles or cover your face if someone around you is coughing (I probably wouldn’t use the same handkerchief to do both, as you don’t want to put germs on your face). At the end of the day, throw it in the wash.
- Sanitize! – Ok, we all know to wipe down counters and bathrooms in our home, but here some things that maybe you didn’t think about.
- Purse – Ladies, we don’t always think about it, but we carry our purses everywhere and set them down in some pretty dirty places! It’s time to wipe those babies down!
- Wallet – If you’re at a store or restaurant, I can guarantee that you probably don’t wash your hands before touching your wallet to pay! Sanitize!
- Phone – Almost everyone carries a phone these days! We carry our lives around on these little devices and hand them to our kids, but I bet we don’t clean as often as we do our bathrooms!
- Keys – After you leave the public place that you were just, the next thing you grab is your keys! Wipe it down!
- The interior of your car – The next thing on your cleaning list should be your steering wheel, seatbelts, dashboard, mirror and door handles. We touch all of these things as soon as we get in the car.
- Door handles and light switches – Get some disinfectant spray and let the kids help you fight germs! Spray all the door knobs and wipe down the light switches. We touch them repeatedly throughout the day.
- Toys – If you have kids, now might be a good opportunity to do a good clean down of their toys! Spray stuffed animals, wash toy dishes, etc.
- Electronics – I’m not sure how other families handle sicknesses, but we tend to watch more tv and play on electronics a bit more when we are sick. Wipe down touch screens, remotes, tablets, keyboards, etc.
- Kitchen – Most of you know to wipe down your kitchen, but don’t forget the handle to the refrigerator, dish washer, microwave and oven!
- Bathroom – Just clean everything! Don’t forget the flusher and maybe use separate towels for each family member to dry their hands.
I think you may be starting to catch onto the trend. After being in a public place, before we have a chance to wash our hands, we have touched a lot of things that we carry with us everywhere!
- Stock up – I’m not sure of the exact amount of time that we are supposed to have supplies, but I have heard between 14 and 30 days for a quarantine. Here are some items to make sure you have on hand.
- Toilet Paper/Kleenex– Considering stores are running out faster than they can stock their shelves, I don’t think anyone is forgetting toilet paper! Just make sure you’re leaving some for other people!
- Soap/hand sanitizer – Put it on your grocery list! You’re going to be doing a lot of hand washing!
- Cleaning supplies – After reading my lengthy list above, you’ll need to get more cleaning products!
- Laundry soap/dish soap – Don’t overlook these when you are buying all of your cleaning supplies! If someone gets sick, you’ll want to wash their bedding, towels and, of course, you will still need to clean your dishes.
- Medicine – Make sure you have pain relievers, cold medicines and prescription medications for a longer stay.
- Toiletries – Buy extra toothpaste, toothbrushes and feminine hygiene products.
- Baby items – Parents, don’t forget to stock up on formula, diapers, wipes, etc.
- Pets – Pets will need a food supply too. If you have cats, get some extra litter.
- Dry and canned goods – Have enough soups, canned meat, canned fruit and vegetables on hand to last a while. Peanut butter, pancake mix, pastas and beans are good options. You may also consider powdered milk or packets of Kool aid to mix with water. If you’re not feeling well, you might want crackers on hand and Sprite or Gatorade.
- Freezer items – Stock your freezer with meat, bread, veggies and fruit.
- Order online/Pick up – Consider ordering your purchases online and then having them delivered or picking them up at the store. This will expose you and the workers to less germs.
- Isolate – A best practice for the current situation is to just limit your exposure to as many people as possible, particularly those who are at higher risk for complications. If you are having any symptoms, err on the side of precaution.
- If you are traveling – If you’re traveling, pack some disinfectant wipes in a sandwich bag. Most hotels are probably stepping up their cleaning procedures, but this way you can wipe down anything that you feel is necessary.
- Plan ahead – Shop ahead for any birthdays, holidays or special occasions that might be happening in the next month. With everything shutting down, you would hate for your child to not have a birthday present or for Easter to happen.
- Wills/Life Insurance – I’m not saying that you are going to die, but people are dying, particularly those that are more susceptible to complications. Having a will in place, or your life insurance up-to-date, may give you a little peace-of-mind if you do get sick.
- Use your phone to call and have physical conversations – During this time of isolation for most of us, call or Face Time your loved ones! It will help keep spirits up and help people to feel less isolated!
Many of you are probably already making necessary preparations. However, having a checklist is never a bad thing! If you have anything to add to my list, please feel free to post it so that others can benefit. Good luck everyone and be healthy! Remember to be as neighborly as possible during this difficult time!