How People with Chronic Illness Can Prepare for COVID-19

By Erin Rose Baldry

How People with Chronic Illness Can Prepare for COVID-19

We have officially entered uncharted territory during these strange times. With several States under varying degrees of quarantine, now more than ever, preparation is KEY. This article sets out helpful tips & lists on how you can prepare yourself, your home and kitchen cupboard for extended periods of being home. Hint, this does not mean getting a years’ supply of toilet paper, or hand sanitizer, given most of your time is going to be spent at home, good hygiene practices and regular hand washing with warm soapy water will be more than sufficient.

Stock up on Medical & Emergency Supplies

As a patient living with a chronic illness, preparation is key. Make sure you are well stocked on all of your supplies, this means a 30-60 day supply, eg. people with diabetes can ensure they have blood meter strips, ketone test strips, glucose gels/tabs, juice boxes, insulin, any other prescription medication. Wherever possible, contact your pharmacy and insurance company to ensure you are well stocked on medical supplies, and if needed request an emergency supply earlier than your next scheduled RX supply date if your supplies are limited. Fortunately, at this time, no major pharmaceutical companies envisage a shortage at this time. However, if you are well stocked, please do not stockpile excessively, as this could potentially lead to shortages down the line for those in need and genuinely low on supplies.

Another helpful tip, make sure that you have a well stocked first aid kit including bandaids, rubbing alcohol, cold/flu/allergy remedies, thermometer, scissors and tweezer.

Well stocked kitchen

A well stocked kitchen means food and water for every member of your family for at least 14 days. Here quick go-to shopping list to help keep you well supplied on healthy and nutritious foods when food shopping trips become more infrequent.

Fresh produce that lasts several days when raw and refrigerated:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Onions/garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Parsnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Eggs
  • Hard cheeses
  • Cured meats (salami etc)

Items to freeze

  • Pees
  • Spinach / kale
  • Frozen berries/fruits for smoothies and baking
  • Meat (chicken thighs/breasts, sausages, ground meat, pork chops, stewing cuts eg shoulder)

Jarred/ Canned items

  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Low sodium stock
  • Low sodium soups
  • Low sodium sauces

Long shelf life dry goods

  • Pasta
  • Grains (quinoa, rice, barley, buckwheat, farro, couscous)
  • Lentils
  • Cereals/oats

Household, self-care items

  • Home cleaning supplies
  • Soaps, shampoo, creams, toothpaste, floss
  • Female sanitary products
  • Baby supplies (if required)
  • Pet food/supplies

Self-care and Self-Health

Now is the time to prioritize your health and take care of your body. The healthier you are, the better prepared your body and immune system will be to fight off a virus or bug. This is accomplished through taking medications on time, good hygiene, eating healthily, making time for physical activity (eg. walking, biking, in-home workout videos), and social-distancing. In this time of need and crisis, it’s also extremely important to remain calm, make time for self-care, hobbies, and activities that you enjoy!

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Orignially published on March 19, 2020, updated on March 20, 2020

Topic: COVID19

Erin Rose Baldry

About Erin Rose Baldry