With so many articles online telling you what you’ll need during quarantine, here’s your guide on what NOT to stockpile amidst the crisis. Although rushing to the supermarkets and buying whatever we think is needed is a completely understandable response, it can actually rob you of the time, money, and other much-needed resources during this time.
So read on below and see what could be the items you’ll need to crash out from your next quarantine shopping list.
- Alcohol-free hand sanitizers
Hand sanitizers are recommended but make sure it has an alcohol content between 60% to 90% to be effective, according to the CDC. However, it is still much better to frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with clean water and soap for effective infection prevention.
- DIY Hand Sanitizer supplies
According to the World Health Organization, if you are going to make a DIY sanitizer, it needs to have at least 96% ethanol. Aside from that, it needs to be properly mixed, otherwise, it can cause harm to your skin and health. It’s better to leave this to the professionals and buy the correct alcohol-based sanitizer instead.
- Medical masks
N95 surgical masks are in short supply and medical facilities and professionals are now struggling to get enough. The CDC does not recommend them for use by the public and must be prioritized for the front-liner who are in daily contact with those hospitalized of COVID-19. The CDC recommends, however, to use cloth masks instead. This type of mask can possibly help slow down the spread by further restricting how far the virus can travel from one person to another. Click here to see how to make your own cloth mask and how to properly wear it.
- Latex gloves
Just like masks, leave the gloves to the medical professionals. Apart from the fact that gloves can pick up germs easily, latex gloves are not meant for everyday living. Prioritize frequent hand washing as “Protecting your hands doesn’t matter if you don’t wash your hands frequently”, says family doctor William Sawyer.
- Non-perishable foods
Many people are tempted to haul a two-week grocery of non-perishables. However, the World Health Organization advises prioritizing fresh produce as we strive to keep our bodies healthy and strengthen our immune systems.
- Foods that you will never eat
Buying foods and canned goods you never tried yet “just in case” is an absolute waste of money. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it is recommended that you only stock a 2-week supply and schedule a meal plan with only the items you’ll need and eat. It’s forward-thinking which will help you save money and keep you and your family healthy.
- Anti-virus essential oils
The FDA Claims, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure [COVID-19].”
Since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be helpful, according to the World Health Organization. They are used in hospitals, however, for patients who have developed a secondary bacterial infection as a result of the virus weakening their body.
- Expensive cleaning items
Keeping your home clean requires frequent disinfection using the correct disinfectants and solutions. That being said, just make sure to frequently clean your home especially the high-touch areas and use the cleaning supplies properly. “There are many bad things about the coronavirus, but there is one good thing: It is not very hardy… It is easily destroyed by most disinfectants”, says Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
- Supply of own water
Dr. Manisha Juthami from Yale School of Medicine states that “We are fortunate to live in a country where most of the tap water is drinkable.” Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests a 2-week supply, those who live in rural areas should be the ones to store more than enough water.
We have no idea how long this will go on or when we will get a cure for COVID-19. But, we can do our part in helping each other by practicing good hygiene and being mindful of what others need. Do not hoard. Make sure there is enough for everybody.