Prepare according to the Free Dictionary states prepare is to make ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion. To fit out or equip. To be prepared is to be willing (to do something). English Stack Exchange article on being prepared states that you can prepare for a case or an event that might take place somewhere in the future. Preparing is kind of an action you do beforehand. Ready - you should be ready when it is about to happen. Being ready is more of an actual state on is at mentally and or physically.
As we are all seeing around the world this "event" is happening and is all around the world. On the 19th of March, 2020 there were 161 countries effected by COVID-19.
Some of us have been taken off balance with the severity of this situation and have been sort of caught off guard as to being prepared for something of this magnitude. Therefore you might find yourself unprepared. We will try and give you a bit of a guide on how to prepare for self-isolating or quarantine as the case may be.
Making a checklist of things you normally take for granted to be able to do such as shopping and collecting medications can be very helpful. We will also try and give you a guide of essentials to prepare for either of these situations.
One of the most important will be to make sure you have any medications that you have prescribed to you. Especially if you have any health conditions. Most pharmacies and chemists will give you a 3-month prescription. I know we got that when we were going on a trip and with the current situation I am sure they will be more than willing to do that for you to self-isolate or quarantine as the case may be. Most pharmacies and chemists have delivery available and if they don't some different groups and agencies are trying to help in this hour of need. For those things that are not prescribed that you might be taking possibly, they could deliver those as well. Possibly a loved one or friend is willing to help. I know in our small village there has been a network of volunteers that will collect your medication or groceries and deliver them to you.
Food is, of course, an essential for daily living. It might be best to sort of think of what you and your family use daily and stock up on those food items. Some basics in most households include eggs, milk, bread, meats, beans, rice, pasta, cereals, vegetables, and fruits. Now one very important thing to remember when stocking up is any special dietary needs. If you are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, celiac or any other dietary restriction then make sure you have ample of these special items for 3 months according to most governments. We have been advised to self-isolate for 3 months if you have any underlying health conditions. Does that mean you can never get groceries during the next 3 months, no but it is best to try and prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Frozen foods, canned foods, and dried foods are always very helpful during times like this as they have a long shelf life. There is powdered milk, long-life milk, and canned milk. Canned or tinned fruits and vegetables have a long shelf life and usually don't take a lot of storage space up. Frozen foods require the capacity in your freezer and many people do not have excess space either in their homes or the appliances they own. I know here in England there are no freezers available in the shops. They sold out very quickly when this whole pandemic started.
Some things that could be very useful are flour, cornflour (corn starch) sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), baking powder, yeast, salt, and any spices you might use in your normal cooking. Some items you might need are freezer bags, foil, parchment paper or greaseproof paper, and cling film. I am someone who cooks and bakes on a very regular basis so these things are staples in my pantry but some people may not be accustomed to making things such as bread or pasta may need to revise their pantry to accommodate the ability to make some things they might not normally make. If you have never been a baker or cook and always wanted to try some different things now is your golden opportunity.
Maybe you are not a drinker or maybe you like an occasional drink of wine. Whatever your favorite beverage is it is a good idea to stock up on the family favorites. That being said soda and sugary drinks might not be the best for you if you are going to be self-isolating and a bit more sedate than normal. Many people like a drink and that is fine but as with everything all things in moderation.
Cleaning supplies would be another essential item that you should stock up on. Whatever you use normally to clean surfaces, your shower or bathtub and sink, toilets, floors, laundry, and dishes. It will be necessary to disinfect worktops and surfaces so whatever you usually use whether it is bleach or something like Detol or Lysol be sure to get some extra just to be prepared. You will most likely have more dishes and laundry than normal with everyone home so think about the amount you might need should you be isolated for an extended period. Don't forget vacuum bags if your machine uses them. It might be a good idea to get some extra dish clothes as well if you don't have many.
Personal are items are another thing you will want to stock up on. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, hand soap, hair products, lasterplasts (band-aids), paracetamol, Toilet paper (if you can find any), birth control, antiseptic ointment, skincare products, tooth care items or denture as the case may be, deodorant and any special items that you normally use would be on the list of essentials that you should stock up on. If you are someone that does not allow people to see you without makeup then you might want to also get an ample supply of your stock items and essentials.
If you have pets you will need to get plenty of food and supplies for them as well so that they are not without their essentials. For examples, a cat will need cat food, cat litter and it would be good to get them flea treatments and of course their favorite treats. Just like us, they need their comfort items and foods. I know our cats would be lost without their Dreamies treats!
Household items such as bin liners or trash bags as the case may be will be something you don't want to forget to purchase as you will most likely produce some trash or rubbish and it is important to dispose of items properly. Envelopes, pens, or pencils, paper, and stamps are something that you might find very useful during self-isolation or quarantine. If you have an upcoming birthday or anniversary in your house it might be good to get any cards or presents that you might want to give or you can always do as we intend to do and celebrate these things once we are all clear and able to go out.
Cash is something that you just might find helpful if you can stock up on some as you might have to pay for items you need delivered to you during your isolation and the people delivering might not be able to accept cards.
Maybe you want to get some puzzles, cards, books or games to help you to keep busy during the hours
There is no way to prepare 100% for some eventuality but if you try and get ready for most things you might find it helps you to cope both mentally and emotionally for what can be a trying time.
One thing we can't know is how this will affect people because each person will cope in different ways. Keeping things as normal as possible are always helpful. Although my grandma always said normal was a setting on a dryer. Each family and each person has their idea of what is acceptable or normal so you have to decide for yourself what is best for you and your family but we do hope this has helped to jog your memory and think of some things you might have otherwise forgotten.
Do your best and remember you are not alone in this. If we all work together we will get through this! Clinics, hospitals, surgeries, charities, churches, and local groups have all pulled together in this time of need and are trying to make sure no one is left feeling alone so reach out and ask! Stay safe and be prepared if possible.
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