How to Prepare For a Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has sent shoppers rushing to their local stores to stock up on supplies. Taking precautions in case of a coronavirus outbreak near you may give you peace of mind, but it’s easy to get sucked into the news and go overboard. We’ll share our tips on what to do and what you might want to stock up on.
There’s no doubt that the headlines are scary. It seems like most of the news lately is focusing on the spread of the coronavirus. But while these stories may be frightening, it’s important to keep it in context. One study classified 81% of cases as mild.
The CDC recommends following everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-18 and similar coronaviruses. These tips include the following:
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Frequently disinfect objects and surfaces people touch.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Do not touch your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, cover it with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the CDC recommends wearing a facemask to help reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
Keep Healthy, Shelf-Stable Foods in the House
Some regions suffering from large-scale coronavirus outbreaks have been implementing quarantines. In case there is a quarantine in your community or you choose to stay home due to fears of catching the virus, you may wish to have extra food in your house.
Maintaining a healthy diet can help boost your immune system, so you might want to focus on healthy, shelf-stable foods. Whole grains, canned or dried beans, and canned or frozen vegetables are nutritious and usually keep well.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends having a two-week supply of food and water in case of a pandemic.
Maintain Necessary Medical Supplies
You may also wish to maintain enough medical supplies that you can stay home if you need to. Having an adequate supply of your prescription medications, pain killers, and any other over-the-counter medications you use might prevent you from needing to go to the store, thus reducing your exposure to individuals who may be ill.
The World Health Organization suggests that masks are only necessary for individuals who are already sick and those who are caring for them.
Have Cleaning Supplies
Proper cleaning is one of the simplest ways to prevent disease spread, so you may want to double-check your supply of disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes, diluted household bleach, alcohol solutions, and other cleaning products to make sure you have enough. The CDC has recommendations for how to clean and disinfect surfaces.
Make Sure You Have Enough Personal Hygiene Supplies
Personal hygiene products can help keep you clean and comfortable if you’re staying put at home. Hand soap is particularly important since thorough hand washing can help reduce the spread of disease. However, you may also want to make sure you have enough shampoo, conditioner, body soap/wash, toilet paper, and other personal hygiene supplies to last your family for a couple of weeks.
Look Into Work-From-Home and Childcare Options
Discussing potential work-from-home options with your employer can help you put in place protocols in case you’re homebound for awhile.
Viruses frequently spread through schools, so it is also possible schools could close. You might want to look into potential childcare options in case you still have to go to work but your child’s school is canceled.
Pay Attention to Official Advice and Instructions
The CDC and other government agencies are closely monitoring the coronavirus. They will offer advice and instructions on how to handle the situation, so paying attention to their guidance can help ensure you have the most relevant, up-to-date information.
This article does not constitute medical advice. Only your medical provider can give accurate medical advice appropriate to your situation, so we recommend contacting them if you have questions or concerns.
What steps are you taking to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak? Let us know in the comments section below.