How to Stock Up and Prepare for Isolation in Coronavirus Outbreak
It has been months since the first WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus infection case has been confirmed in Wuhan, China. Now the virus is everywhere including Europe. The number of confirmed cases in United Kingdom is climbing, so is the number of deaths. The government have moved out of the contained phase (because it simply was impossible) and moved on to the delay phase, aiming to reduce community contact, hence slow down transmission. People are advised to work from home and schools are facing temporary closure. There is no need for panic buying nor do we need to go crazy stocking up groceries (seriously people, stop piling up toilet papers, that's just nuts), but we should all have a reasonable amount of food stored and basic household goods even when there was no plague. This is just simple basic household managing. In this blogpost, I will share with you what I think is good to have at home and how I prepare for the virus outbreak; and I hope these information would be helpful to some of you.
I never had an empty pantry in my life, and I certainly would not start now. That being said, I do not believe the virus outbreak would affect the food supply chain to a critical level. Therefore I might stock up some extra items that I usually don't, but in terms of quantity I don't think we need to go crazy just yet. I am currently living alone and these are the stuff that I would stock at home that would last me at least 1 month before I ran out of food. If you are living with someone, make sure to scale up accordingly.
Dried food, grains, carbohydates:
2 kg of dried pasta
2 kg of dried noodles that could be stored at room temperature (udon, egg noodles etc)
10 packs of instant noodles
5 kg rice
2 kg of grains of choice (barley, cous cous, oats etc.) - only for those who actually likes eating them
2 kg of dried legume - (lentils, chickpeas etc.) - great source of protein with long shelve life.
1 kg of flour (and some yeast/ baking soda/ baking powder) - for bread/ cake making.
1 case of 12 wine (mixed case of red, white and sparkling) and 1 case of 24 beers - just because I go through them and they keep me happy.
1 month worth of granola or cereal - for breakfast.
5 tinned tomatoes
5-10 tinned veggies and fruits (corn, beans, pineapple, peach etc.) - great source of vitamins in case of fresh produce shortage.
5-10 tinned fish (tuna, sardines etc.) - source of protein, minerals and fats. The oil could also be used for cooking.
5L long life milk - fresh dairy milk has very short shelf lives and are not suitable for stocking.
1 month worth of tea and coffee - exact quantity depends on your rate of consumption.
2 bottles/ packs of family sized cordial or powdered beverages (e.g. hot chocolate) if you do drink them.
Seasonings (sugar, salt, herbs, spices etc) - I always buy family packs and they last me a very long time so I don't stock extra of any of these. If you have a big family, make sure to always have 1 unopened pack on hand.
Oil - have one extra, unopened bottle on hand, just in case.
Confectionery - sweets and chocolates, keeps us happy and good source of energy in emergency.
15 eggs - they store pretty well in the fridge
1 kg natural live yoghurt - you can make more by fermenting it with more milk!
1 kg chicken, portioned - could be breast, thigh, wings, or drumbsticks, whichever your prefer, or mix and match!
500g minced meat of choice, portioned
1-2kg frozen fruits - great for smoothies and desserts! Amazing source of vitamins.
1kg frozen pastry - puff pastry, croissants, flatbread etc.
2 kg frozen veggies (spinach, kale, peas, corn etc.) - would be helpful in the rare case of not being able to get fresh produce.
1 L bleach - the best household disinfectant. Mix 1 part bleach and 99 parts water to make a good multipurpose surface cleaner
1 bottle multi-purpose surface cleaner - for surfaces that cannot be cleaned with bleach
1 pack of 9-12 rolls toilet paper - this lasts me 2 months and trust me, no one needs more than that.
4 packs of facial tissue
2 months worth of sanitary products (for females)
2 months worth of pet supply (litter, food etc.) - if you live with a pet.
Minimum of 50 face masks - I don't care what the government says, science has proved that they are useful in infectious control and if you need to go out for food or whatever, wear a mask. The best way to control a plaque is to treat every single person as a potential carrier, and wearing a mask prevents us from infecting others even if we didn't know we had the virus. The incubation period of WARS virus is extremely long and we need to stop it from spreading!!!
First Aid Kit
Sterile saline solution
A pair of strong medical scissors
1 month worth of any prescription you might be taking - speak to your GP.
Pain killer - e.g. paracetamol
Vitamins - especially vitamin C. It prevents us from getting scurvy in case we can't get enough vitamin C from fresh produce which might not be accessible.
Anti-histamine - for allergies
Loperamide - diarrhea drug
General antibiotics - if you can get any and only if you know how to take them appropriately.