It seems like everything we read about today is concerning coronavirus. In unprecedented situations like this, that’s not unusual. While many are still working, mainly the brave individuals in our grocery stores who are often forgotten, cleaners and doctors, nurses and all supporting hospital staff.
And while they’re battling coronavirus on the frontline, all of us who have to stay at home are facing our own daily struggles. When coronavirus started, many felt as if they will be unable to purchase some basic living goods, which led to a worldwide shortage of basic necessities such as soap, toilet paper, flour, and canned goods. It’s human nature to worry about ourselves first which is why many started hoarding those supplies, without thinking about the others who may need them more.
When shopping, be mindful of other customers, some who may not have the resources to buy in bulk, mostly elders, low-income families and sick individuals for whom going out is a risk in itself.
When researching for this article, we stumbled upon some recommendations on what we should have for a basic 2-week quarantine during which we’re only able to go to the store once.
What do I need for a 2-week quarantine?
If possible, make sure you have enough medicine and medical supplies you usually use for a period of at least 2 weeks, preferably 1 month. This is important to ensure you don’t have to visit a pharmacy unless absolutely necessary, keeping you exposed less.
As we cannot go without water, it’s the second most important thing on our list. If tap water is drinkable in your area, this is not a worry of yours, but in case it’s not, there are 2 ways you can ensure you have enough water for the quarantine. The first, obvious way is to purchase enough bottled water for that period. But as we should drink at least 34 oz of water daily, this can be expensive and hard to carry when buying for 14 days. An alternative is to purchase a water filter that you can install in your home. Although it may be an investment, it saves money in the long-run.
3. Canned goods
Although it’s tempting to purchase in bulk, there’s really no need to do so. The easiest way to know how much you need is to make a meal plan for the next week and see which ingredients you’ll use. Focus on non-perishable goods such as beans, legume, or items that can be boiled and prepared such as rice, chickpeas, and lentils.
4. Fresh fruit and vegetables
When buying fresh fruits and vegetables it’s important to store them in the fridge after buying to prevent spoiling. You’ll need approximately 1-2 pieces of fruit per household member for a day to keep healthy nutrition so avoid purchasing more than that as this food will spoil within a week. After a week, you can easily go to the store and stock up on things you might’ve missed or need more. Opt for apples, oranges, bananas and similar foods that doesn’t spoil as fast.
5. Toilet paper
There’s no need to buy 50 rolls of toilet paper. Diarrhea is not a symptom of coronavirus so you won’t need 3 times the usual amount. According to market statistics, an average family of 4 experiences an increase of 40% in the consumption of toilet paper when staying at home. Therefore, to last approximately 2 weeks, a 2-person household would need 9 double rolls, while a 4-person household would need 17 double rolls. If you buy 20, you’ll have more then enough!
6. Other toiletries
As soap is the only thing we use more when staying at home, you should buy 1-2 soaps more than usual for a period of 2 weeks. If you’re low on shampoo, toothpaste or your regular toiletries, make sure you have enough for the first two weeks. Don’t forget hand creams (check out our guide here). There will always be shampoo in the stores.
7. Baby supplies
If you have a small child, it’s understandable you might be panicking right now, but there’s no need for it. In case you’re breastfeeding and your child is under 6 months, you’re good to go, continue breastfeeding as you did before and your child will be more than good! But if you’re using formula and/or your child is over 6 months, make sure to have enough formula for at least 10 consecutive days. This way you’ll have enough time to purchase it before you start running low. In case your baby is eating solids together with formula/breastfeeding you can opt for high-calorie foods such as banana, sweet potato or avocados.
When it comes to diapers and other supplies, it always comes down to having enough for 10 to 14 days as you’ll be able to go to the store and get more in case you run out of them.
8. Basic goods
If you’re a fan of baking, you’ll flourish during quarantine as with only a few basic goods, you can make magic happen. Some of the basics you always need are flour, butter or margarine, oil, baking powder or yeast and milk.
If you’re a family of 4, these quantities will most likely last for 14 days without worry.
- 11 lb of all-purpose flour
- 3-4x 8-oz pre-wrapped butter
- 2x 33 oz bottles of oil
- 1 big baking powder
- 6-pack of 33 oz UHT milk
9. Cleaning supplies
As you’ll be spending more time at home, you’ll probably clean more often making you run out of cleaning supplies faster. Buying one extra of each you use will last you for longer than 2 weeks so you’re good to go!
Although it seems unnecessary in this situation, in case you live in a house and have a yard, you’ll spend more time outside. This is especially important if you have children to prevent possible sunburns which have to be treated. As warmer weather is approaching, it’s better to be safe than sorry.