How to Prepare for Covid-19: College Edition

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World Peace Prize
MIT World Peace University in Pune India (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

It feels like Covid-19 has taken over every newsfeed in the world right now. Although unlikely, there is always a possibility of the situation worsening as the spread of the virus continues. The more I heard about Covid-19, the more I worried. I’m a college student, working on a budget. I don’t have money to be wasting on food I will never eat, like powdered milk.

So I decided to look over what the CDC has instructed Americans to purchase in preparation for the potential self-quarantine and find what I believe you ACTUALLY need to buy. I have made a list of items you probably already buy on your weekly grocery store runs so that you do not feel like you are wasting your money like I was worried about doing.

What Should I ACTUALLY Buy?

Here is a list of the basic necessities you should have on hand because let’s be honest— the last place you would want to be when you’re sick is in line at a crowded grocery store fighting for the last roll of toilet paper…Some of these items are more necessary in emergencies where you might lose electricity and gas services. Those are easy to distinguish in the following list.

  • Nonperishable foods for your pantry to carry you through for a couple of weeks: peanut butter, jerky, pasta, nuts, cereal, dried fruit, canned beans, canned soup, granola, protein bars, juice boxes
  • Household food item staples: salt, pepper, olive oil, vegetable oil, honey,
  • Go-to sickbed foods, like chicken or vegetable broth and crackers in case of illness
  • A 30-day supply of water
  • Hydrating drinks such as Gatorade or Body Armor
  • Daily medications — for example, blood pressure pills — make sure you have enough to last a couple of weeks. You may need to get approval for an extended supply from your insurance provider
  • Prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. You may ask your doctor if he has samples or can help you to lawfully prepare. This is especially important for medications such as insulin that cannot be rationed
  • Nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers and fever relievers, anti-diarrhea medications, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, and vitamins
  • Liquid soaps: liquid laundry, hand, and dish soaps
  • Bleach wipes or disinfecting wipes and anti-bacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Emergency kit
  • Cash: Should the power fail ATM machines and credit cards will not work, have a stash of small denomination bills on hand for emergencies
  • Gas up: As soon as you hear the flu has come to your region, fill all your cars, as gas will be hard to come by
  • Paper towels, toilet paper, and facial tissues with anti-bacterial properties
  • Paper plates, cups, bowls, and utensils. These will cut down on the possibility that germs will be passed during meals
  • Flashlights, glow sticks, candles, and/or lanterns, and batteries
  • Heavy blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • Can opener
  • Large plastic trash bags for soiled clothing, towels, and trash
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records

Other Tips and Tricks

The CDC has also recommended cleaning “high touch” surfaces, like phones and tablets, frequently as they can easily pick up germs. Wash your hands with warm water for 20 seconds and avoid shaking hands. It is also recommended that you get your flu shot.

As a college student, you should communicate with your family back home. Talk to them about what their plan is as well as communicate your plan to them. You may learn from them a few tricks and tips.

What I Learned… And What You Can Too!

Again, Covid-19 is not something we need to panic about. It is, however, great to be prepared. Although unlikely, Covid-19’s spread may worsen to the point where we will need to self-quarantine. I think the biggest thing I learned from compiling this list is that we can personalize the way we prepare for an emergency so that the items we purchase are not a waste of money.

How are you preparing for Covid-19? Let us know in the comments below.

Madi Wickham is a junior in the Public Relations program at Brigham Young University. She was raised on the beaches of San Diego, California, but has fallen in love with the mountains of Utah. She is a sunset enthusiast and a Trader Joes loyalist who has a special love for the outdoors and traveling.