As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to rapidly spread across the nation, forcing the cancellation, closure or delay of dozens of locations or events, people have become understandably worried about the possibility of being quarantined at home - whether it's ordered by the government, or they simply decide to stay home as a personal choice.
But, you might be wondering, how does the average American get prepared for an extended stay at home? Well, you don't necessarily need six months' worth of toilet paper, but there are some staples people should stock up on to make sure they can have an easier time at home.
One of the highest priorities for anyone who has been quarantined at home should be to keep the surfaces in your home and your hands clean. Any shopping list you put together should include extra disinfectant and toiletries - including items like toothpaste, body soap, and shampoo. You should also keep extra feminine supplies on hand, as well as diapers and laundry detergent. Razors and shaving cream are also good items to stock up on, along with contact lens, contact lens solutions, and heavy duty garbage bags.
When it comes to preparing for 14-days at home, buying enough food to last two weeks should be one of your main priorities. The fewer you can go out during a pandemic, the better. Fresh fruits and vegetables will more than likely spoil over a 14-day quarantine, so try to find canned food that have a long storage life that don't need a lot of cooking or preparation.
Many meat products can be frozen, so, whether you prefer beef, chicken or fish, you can always stock up on protein and keep it in your freezer, defrosting as needed.
Canned items, like beans, broths, stews, vegetables, fruits, fruit juices, and canned or powdered milk, should also make it on your shopping list. Canned items that have a long shelf-life should be your priority for any long-term quarantine situation.
Peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, granola bars, bouillon cubes are also among the items you should pick up. Additionally, don't forget your spices! Cooking without sugar, salt and pepper will make for a bland 14 days.
Don't forget about your pets or any special dietary needs your family members might have. That means you should make sure you have an extra supply of pet food for the furry ones. The American Red Cross suggests that people have at least a 30-day supply of any prescription medication on hand.
And while it might look silly to see everyone rushing to the grocery store to load up on bottled water even as water is still flowing freely from the taps, it's definitely a good idea to pick up a case or two of fluids that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade or Pedialyte.
You should also ensure you have enough medication on hand - including over the counter medications such as antacids, pain relievers, cough and cold medicine like Robutussin, and vitamins.
It's not making sure you have enough food, water and medicine on hand. You should also think about how you're going to spend your extra time. Thanks to the glut of online streaming services, you have plenty of choices to watch movies or TV shows at your leisure. But, this also could be the perfect opportunity for you to catch up on your reading!
You should put together a basic first aid kit on hand that includes gauze bandages, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic wipes, and non-latex gloves.
Finally, take a look around your home and find things that are replaced on a regular basis to make sure you have enough to last through your quarantine. Do you have a can opener? Scissors? Other items that might come in handy include matches, candles, blankets and rain gear. It's also a good idea to pull out some case for any possible emergencies.
Being stuck at home for 14 days straight won't be a fun experience, but being prepared can make your stay at home far easier than it otherwise might be.
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