Despite our best quarantine efforts, it seems as though COVID-19 is going to impact America significantly. This is not to say there is a need for mass panic or that this will be a devastating crisis. But there will be actual problems going forward of how to handle this real and serious threat.
There is a middle ground between being the doomsday prepper and the last one to visit CVS when the crisis hits home. Even now, some areas are already seeing store shelves emptied for supplies. In not wanting any of our readers to be caught with their pants down in this scenario, we’d like to provide some avenues in which people may reasonable prepare. If you are already in a state presently hit by coronavirus, this can still be a way to effectively mitigate disaster from striking. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to stay vigilant:
#1: It’s never a bad idea to have bottled water.
One of the most basic ways to prepare for any crisis scenario is to have spare water on hand. At the very least, if you buy extra cases of water amidst a crisis, then no matter what occurs you will be able to roll with the punches. Now, it is entirely unlikely that the situation will reach the point of the water turning off, but should anything happen you’ll at least have several days worth of water in the event of an actual worst case scenario. It’s also generally affordable, as 24-packs of water are available for less than $4 a case at your local big box retail store. In lieu of bottled water, filtration bottles and pitchers are also available (albeit a more expensive choice). Either way, even if nothing happens, you’re at least guaranteed a refreshing beverage cleaner than tap water for the moment. Again, there’s a low possibility of it coming to this stage, but given the relative affordability, it never hurts to pick some up, and having spare cases for emergencies can also help in the event of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
#2: Buy canned food, not toilet paper or tissues.
There are a myriad of different foods available at your local store, each of which have a huge range of expiration dates. Canned foods, dried goods, and other sealed long-term rations can serve as both a source of some dietary regulars and as a form of crisis-mitigation. Soup, corned beef, vegetables, corned beef hash even, and so much more can be both a part of your daily diet as it stands and on hand if COVID-19 makes a trip to Walmart a bad idea. On that note, don’t go to the store during peak hours and avoid visiting the highly trafficked businesses that have a higher chance of being visited by someone infected. This course of action is simply a cautionary decision, and if you believe them to be safe, then by all means proceed with your store trip as usual.
Furthermore, if you feel like you’ll maintain power, you can even freeze extra meats for future consumption (although even then you never know where it’s been). Bacon has a decently long shelf life, is by far one of the most delicious things in existence, and can be frozen. Seldom do any of these goods exceed $5 per item (canned goods and soup being particularly cheap). Taking the precaution to stock up on any and all of these will allow you to stay home and reduce any unnecessary trips should a state of emergency be declared in your area, as many are already being advised to stay home. And no, toilet paper is not on the docket for important foodstuffs, or any kind of important goods to keep an eye out for in this situation.
#3: Gloves are a perfectly reasonable investment.
The most far-fetched item on the list, a proper pair of gloves can surprisingly do wonders for keeping yourself healthy. You can choose from any number of them, so long as they are fully fingered and at least a relatively snug fit. You can never rely on the personal hygiene of those around you, whether they know they have something or not (which is hard to even tell given coronavirus’ long incubation time). Blocking the viruses from even making direct contact with you is an extremely smart tactic, and your hands are the part of your body which most commonly touch infected surfaces. Whether it’s some rubber doctor/janitor gloves or a set of leather and spike-clad biker mitts, if it means not contracting disease then it works for you and me.
#4: Maintain diligent hygiene. WASH YOUR HANDS.
It can never be said enough that the single most important way to prevent getting sick is to maintain good personal hygiene. There are germs on every surface you touch, and when you bring that hand to your face all of that intermingles near entrances to your body. Have some hand sanitizer if you can find it at a reasonable price. If not, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face if it can at all be helped. Not touching your face (especially while out in public) is definitely not at all easy to consciously and continually do, but it will pay dividends when you’re not coughing up half a lung.
#5: Panic will only worsen things. Keep a level head.
Although telling people not to panic may seem like the most obvious advice on the planet, that doesn’t mean people are following it, I mean just look at how this Australian store saw people freak out over the aforementioned unnecessary toilet paper:
Alexa, why am I a misanthrope?pic.twitter.com/0D1ePKG7oe
— Old Holborn ✘ (@Holbornlolz) March 10, 2020
The best course of action is maintain a steady head on your shoulders, and to take the time to think things out as problems arise. Using the tips here can already put you on the right track, but good reasoning will mean so much if a state of emergency comes to pass. What’s more, your immune system is hindered by overly stressing and excessive worry, so it’s in the interest of your own health to keep calm and carry on. Doing so will not only make your life better and safer, but will positively contribute to the mental state of those around you and the civility of society at large.