Store shelves are ravaged of stock across the United States as people hoard items like toilet paper, bottled water, and Lysol wipes. The current COVID-19 outbreak, caused by coronavirus, is causing some people to panic and hoard supplies. On social media sites like Instagram, people shared photos of stores with sparse shelves .
It’s easy to get swept up in the coronavirus craze, but there’s no need to panic, says Dr. Keith Roach, an internist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
“I see people going out to buy bottled water, and that’s insane,” he tells Men’s Health.
Dr. Roach explains that the water supply isn’t affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. That said, he does recommend some preparation.
“Now is not an unreasonable time to move to the next level of caution,” says Dr. Roach.
So, what does that mean? Washing your hands thoroughly and picking up enough supplies to last your family two weeks—but no longer—in the event that you get sick.
Here’s what you should buy:
Frozen fruits and vegetables
Traditionally, people load up on shelf-stable canned foods for their emergency stores. Dr. Roach says to opt for frozen produce since it contains just as many nutrients as fresh.
Variety of food
According to Dr. Roach, you need enough food to keep you happy in terms of variety and quantity for two weeks. There’s no need to subsist on oatmeal, lentils, and your frozen produce. Think about snacks and any special treats you enjoy, like chocolate.
Decongestant and anti-inflammatory
Although symptoms vary, Dr. Roach says a cough, head ache, and muscle aches are the most common complaints associated with coronavirus. He suggests keeping your go-to decongestant and anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, on-hand.
This is the only instance where Dr. Roach advises being overly cautious. He suggests having a month’s worth of prescription medications available at home. Speak with your pharmacist about your concerns to plan ahead.
Your favorite “get well” supplies
Maybe you guzzle Gatorade whenever you get the flu. Or perhaps soup is the only meal you can stomach whenever you’ve succumbed to the cold. Dr. Roach says to invest in the items that cheer you up—or at least make being sick less miserable—whenever you have the cold or flu.
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