Get your home COVID-19 ready

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Much like creating hurricane-readiness kits, preparation for potential COVID-19 threats involves stocking up on items like non-perishable food, paper goods, medicine and water.

The idea is to have items on hand should there be a shortage or should you be stuck at home later on. Another reason for this is to minimize social interactions should an outbreak occur locally. You do not want to have to run the risk of physically shopping in a crowded store if this happens.

Whether your kit is partially prepped, all good-to-go or just mentally noted, consider some of these expert tips for how you can get ready:

PRETEND YOU’RE SICK

Think of the items you crave and need when you are sick. For my family, that means chicken broth, crackers, electrolyte popsicles and drinks, and over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and nasal spray. Order any prescription refills that you can, and ask your doctors for approval for extended supplies so that they can be covered by insurance.

GET ITEMS THAT STRETCH

Because we are limited on storage space (and because I just prefer the flavor), I choose the powder drink mixes over the premade solutions whenever possible. For washing hands or dishes, remember that foam soap dispensers use 20 percent of the amount of liquid soap that a traditional dispenser takes. Simply pour liquid soap into one-fifth of the bottle and fill the rest with water. Opt for a spray sanitizing solution with paper towels or rags over sanitizing wipes. Just remember to wash the rags properly and avoid using the same rag on multiple surfaces. Doing so simply spreads the germs around.

MAKE YOUR OWN

Hand sanitizer has been sold out in literally every place I have checked for the past month, and getting it by shipment is not an option. Luckily, ingredients and recipes for homemade versions still abound. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that hand sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol by volume to work. Basic recipes call for two-thirds a cup of rubbing alcohol with one-third a cup of aloe gel. If you want to add five to 10 drops of essential oils, they can help with the scent. If you would rather not make your own, purchase hand sanitizing wipes instead. Unlike liquid hand sanitizers, wipes can be shipped here.

DON’T GO OVERBOARD

Unless you are a health care worker, you probably do not need a facial mask. Also, buy only what you need. A colleague of mine saw a man purchasing 30 cases of water recently. Save some for others, and do not return them. Most retailers cannot resell or even donate previously purchased water, so it all goes to waste.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.