What to Buy Before the Panic

Stocking Up Right now, most of the US population has not yet panicked. When they do, the shelves of supermarkets and drug stores will empty quickly, as they have in Hawaii.

Act while things are calm so you can get what you and your loved ones need. This is not about food, that is another subject entirely. This is about some self-protection gear, medication, and home health care.

Here’s a list with Amazon links but don’t expect even the mighty Amazon to have product forever. Many of these items are now third-party sellers only so watch shipping charges and delivery times. Some now ship in 3-5 weeks!

Personal Protection Gear

Indirect-Vent GogglesThe indirect vent ones with foam edging and elastic strap are still available around here. Also, consider swim goggles, swim masks and snow sports goggles. As of 2/27/2020, you have plenty to pick from on Amazon.

Face ShieldHave seen these in use and seem like a sensible way both to keep germy spit off your face and to discourage you from touching your face casually.

N95 MasksThese are the better quality masks. Got a couple of two packs of these at Lowes this week – they were sold out the next day but maybe not in your town. 

Disposable Face MasksThese are gone off the shelves in my town and all that is left on Amazon are third-party shippers. Watch shipping fees and dates because some say: shipping in 3-5 weeks. However, I did find decent basic masks at ACE Hardware today at a low price so look around.

Disposable GlovesStill plenty of these at Amazon, as of today.

Phone Soap – This cleans using UV light, it’s not actual soap. I got mine this week and love it. Sanitizes my phone, ear cord, earbuds, car keys, credit cards, etc. I come home, the phone goes into the phone soap, I wash my hands. I wipe down the outside of the phone soap. Yes, that’s our life for now.

Hand SanitizerUse it after you touch something dirty, before you open your car door and before you touch your doorknob to enter your home.

Pocket-Pack Tissues – Use these as a barrier when you have to touch public buttons such as an ATM, self-checkout touchscreen or elevators buttons. Use once and toss. I’ve also seen cotton swabs used in the same way. (Or do a public service and use hand wipes to open public bathroom doors and such. If we all wiped as we went we might help knock back the viral load on such surfaces.)

Basic Medication

Cough Medicine This will fly off the shelves if this bug starts to spread as it has everywhere else. Get what your family might need ASAP.

Fever Reduction One of my favorite Youtube Corona sources is Dr. John Campbell. He’s mixed about fever reduction since he states that your immune system is helped by the fever. Of course, too high a fever is serious so discuss the best options for managing a COVID-19 fever with your physician. Dr. Campbell discusses this here, start at 3:30 for fever info and watch his video devoted exclusively to fever in this video titled, unsurprisingly: Fever

Home Health Care

My working assumption is that our health care system may get swamped like so many other systems and will become the gathering place for the sickest of us. That means I don’t want to be anywhere near it unless I’m already one of those people. Telemedicine may be the more efficient and safest for everyone and I hope it is encouraged. We’ll see. Having basic health data can allow you to give your doctor a clearer picture of what is going on and what is needed. These are all straightforward to use.

Blood Oxygen Measurement Clips painlessly on the end of a finger. Has a digital readout.

Blood Pressure Wrist Cuff – Wraps around a wrist. Has a digital readout.

Forehead/Ear Thermometer – These are less prone to getting germ-laden than oral ones and are easy to read but the old glass ones can be wiped down with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean.

Window Fans What? you ask. We’ll have a blog on this soon but the basics are, if someone gets sick, you can limit risk to the rest of the family by venting air out.

Disinfecting Wipes – These are still widely available. Grab what you need, leave the rest for others. We’re in this together.

Good luck.