Having sensible things in your fridge and pantry is a must during a self-isolation.
Whether you have decided to self-isolate because you may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19), or your community has been locked down because of the pandemic, having the right supplies will be your best bet for comfortably making it through quarantine.
To help you prepare for a potential quarantine, we’ve looked into exactly what you need – and don’t need – for an extended stay at home. Here are our recommendations.
What you Should Buy
Most of the supplies you may need are the same sorts of food, personal grooming, and cleaning supplies you may already include on your weekly shopping list. However, it’s good to double-check that you have all of these items.
You will need non-perishable food for every member of your household. It’s smart to buy foods that you and your family routinely eat. If you don’t end up eating all of your canned, pantry, and frozen foods as part of your self-quarantine plan, you can incorporate them into your weekly meal plans down the road.
Check your pantry; you may want to stock-up with some of the following items:
…are all great choices, due to their long shelf-life.
- tinned tuna or salmon
- baked beans
Condiments & Sauces
…all have long shelf-lives and do well under refrigeration after they’re opened. They will help make your meals more enjoyable.
- tomato sauce
- peanut butter
- pasta sauce
…are excellent sources of carbohydrates, protein and fibre that remain shelf-stable for long periods of time.
- instant potatoes
If you are drinking out of a can, washing the top before taking your first sip is a good idea.
- other beverages
Milk & Milk Alternatives
- long-life milk
- condensed or evaporated milk
- milk alternatives – coconut, soy, rice, or almond
- oats or instant oats for a quick, hot breakfast that requires nothing more than boiled water and a few moments of your time to make
…help to pass the time while gaming, watching TV, playing cards and board games, doing jigsaw puzzles or reading a book.
- potato chips
- protein bars
- dried fruit
…can provide a welcome, nutritious addition to meals prepped from the goods in your pantry.
- frozen meats
- frozen meals can be a massive win if you become too sick to cook for yourself
…are a great morale booster – something you just might need after being stuck at home for a few weeks.
- frozen yoghurt
- other frozen sweets
HOME DELIVERY OPTIONS
If you are unable to get to the supermarket for these supplies or worry that doing so could possibly increase your exposure to coronavirus, some supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have online shopping and delivery to your home.
Takeaway & Restaurant Meals
You could have takeaway and restaurant meals delivered to your door by delivery services such as:
- Restaurants-own delivery
Prepared Meals & Meal Kits
There are also a number of companies that deliver prepared meals and meal kits such as:
- Marley Spoon
- Hello Fresh
Be careful when dealing with the delivery person. Either see if they will leave the items at your door, or cover your nose and mouth while answering, to ensure limited exposure between you and the delivery person.
- Pet Food: Stock up on fresh, frozen, canned and dried food for your pets
- Pet Medication: If your pets require regular medication, make sure they have enough to last the quarantine period.
- Mobile Vet Service: There are now a number of vets who will visit your pet at your home.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot, soapy water, to help fend off the contraction and spread of coronavirus. That said, there’s more to keeping clean than scrubbing your hands. During the 14 days that you will be housebound, you will want to make sure that you have adequate personal grooming and hygiene supplies.
But first, let’s talk about hand sanitiser. If you are stuck at home under quarantine, you don’t need hand sanitiser as you can wash your hands with soap and water in your kitchen or bathroom, which is more effective than hand sanitiser. The only time that you should rely on hand sanitiser is in situations where soap and water are not readily available – such as after a ride on public transport. If you insist on having hand sanitiser and can’t find it, you can make your own with a mix of 2/3 isopropyl alcohol (99% rubbing alcohol) and 1/3 aloe vera gel.
Consider adding these items to your self-quarantine shopping list:
- Bar or Liquid Soap: Just like a flu virus, coronavirus is protected by a shell composed of lipids (a fancy word for fats or oils). Washing with hot water and soap will whisk away any traces of the virus on your hands, in much the same manner as scrubbing a dirty frying pan with a washing-up liquid helps remove grease. You can invest in soap with additional anti-viral properties, but any hand soap will get the job done.
- Tissues: If you’ve contracted COVID-19, your symptoms may include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. However, you could still wind up with a runny nose due to seasonal allergies or getting sideswiped by the flu or cold. Having tissues on hand will make for a more comfortable time confined to your home.
- Toilet Paper: This one is self-explanatory. Make sure to stock a few more rolls than your household normally goes through in a two-week period, just in case. Resist the urge to purchase more than you require.
- Bathroom Sundries: Make sure that you have enough razors, shaving cream, shampoo, and toothpaste on hand to help you pass through your time in quarantine with a little grace.
- Sanitary Items: If you use tampons, pads, or incontinence items on a regular basis, you should ensure that you have enough for a 14-day quarantine.
COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for as long as two or three days. So, it’s a good idea to routinely clean and sanitise your living area before, during, and after your quarantine.
- Disposable Antibacterial Wipes: Disposable antibacterial wipes are a great choice for cleaning hard surfaces like countertops, bathroom sinks, and doorknobs.
- Disinfectant Spray: We recommend using a multi-surface cleaner, which can be used on hard surfaces, just like disinfectant wipes. However, it can also be used to disinfect soft surfaces like clothing, bedsheets, and furniture.
- Disinfectant Cleaner: To clean floors, walls, bathtubs, or other fixtures in your home, we suggest a cleaner like a heavy-duty cleaner disinfectant concentrate, which is a disinfectant and deodoriser that, when diluted in water, can be used to clean most hard surfaces in your home.
- Household Chlorine Bleach: If cleaning supplies are in short supply, use chlorine bleach and water to sanitise your home. Start by washing the surfaces in your home with soap and water. Next, using a solution of 1/2 cup of household chlorine bleach added to 9 litres of water (a bucket), spray, mop, or wipe down the surfaces in your home.
- Paper Towels: Disposable paper towels are a smart product to use as part of your COVID-19 cleaning practices.
- Disposable Gloves: It’s a smart idea to protect your hands from the harsh cleaning products, or if you’re caring for a sick family member.
For medical advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), call the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus Health Information Line. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week – 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
However, if you think that you’ve come in contact with coronavirus, call your GP or local hospital, as soon as you can. During a pandemic, the medical help that we can readily access, most of the time, could be overwhelmed and unable to help you quickly. So, consider the following:
- First Aid Kit: Investing in a well-stocked first aid kit can save you the stress of attempting to access limited medical help if you only have minor injuries. Find one that comes with all of the supplies you will need to treat a wide variety of problems, at home.
- Prescription Medications: If you use prescription medications, be sure to maintain at least a 30-day supply. This should prepare you to sit out a 14-day quarantine, with wiggle-room to spare, in case having your prescription refilled proves difficult. Make contact with your pharmacy and let them know.
- Pain and Fever Relievers: A high fever is one of the main symptoms of coronavirus. So, be sure to have enough paracetamol fever reducers on hand to ride out the illness. You will also find it useful for reducing the discomfort that comes with the constant dry cough. Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and cortisone could aggravate coronavirus and should be avoided at this time.
- Humidifiers: Humidifiers can help relieve symptoms of coronavirus like a sore throat and cough.