Fun Things to Stock Up On (But Not Stockpile) for a Self-Quarantine or Lockdown - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Fun Things to Stock Up On (But Not Stockpile) for a Self-Quarantine or Lockdown

Fun Things to Stock Up On (But Not Stockpile) for a Self-Quarantine or Lockdown

By Barbara Fletcher


Because 30 days stuck at home calls for special things.

By Barbara Fletcher

We’ve all seen the headlines about people clearing stores out of hand sanitizer, face masks and (oddly) toilet paper in the event of a coronavirus self-quarantine or lockdown. But really, should you be stockpiling anything?

No! Health organizations are advising to have a 30-day supply of food, vitamins, medicines and pet and household supplies (soap!) on hand –– essentially the kinds of things you wouldn’t want to be without in the event that you might have to spend a long period of time at home. You know, like chocolate, wine, diapers.

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Source Getty Images, Composite by Ned Colin

So think about it: What would make your extended homestay more bearable, considering that you also might get sick and not feel like doing much? Note: This is not a list of things you should stockpile. We’re talking about stocking up. Put the Costco card down and chill. No panic-buying, please.

Stuff to Help Weather the Flu

Let’s get this out the way: If you’re self-quarantining, you might get sick (but keep in mind, 80 percent recover without needing special treatment), and you also might come down with a common cold or flu. So it’s best to have things on hand to help soothe your symptoms –– like soft tissues, medicines and ready-to-eat meals, but also home remedy options like herbal teas (licorice is good for respiratory ailments), eucalyptus and oregano oils, fruit juices, honey and lemons. And, alas, disinfectant spray and wipes. For everything.

Things to Keep You (and the Kids) Entertained

If you’re going to be cooped up in your house for a few weeks, you’re going to want something other than your phone to keep you entertained and mentally engaged. And if you have children, the boredom situation becomes more urgent. Consider loading up on board games and supplies for creative home projects. Maybe splash out on that PlayStation 4 Pro. This might also be a good time to get that Netflix or Amazon subscription. Remember how you always meant to start watching The Sopranos? Now’s the time.

You could also try an online course or pick up a new hobby. Like woodworking, subversive cross-stitch or (two trends for 2020) embroidery or soap making –– how can soap be a bad idea in times like these?

Your Favorite Foods … Because 30 Days Is a Long Time Without Fat and Sugar

Yes, be sure to stock up on soups and canned goods, pantry staples and frozen options (please leave some frozen pizza for your neighbors). If you have the time, you can make and freeze some of your favorite recipes for heating up whenever you need them. But also think treats. Yes, keep eating balanced meals and get your five-a-day –– however if there was ever a time to pick up those cookies or chips you love, it’s now. And if they somehow last until the end of the quarantine period, it’s likely there will still be a few months left until expiration.

Tips: Because perishables are, well, perishable, you can blanch and freeze fresh vegetables as well as grated hard cheeses. And for a fresh milk alternative, this might be the time to try shelf-stable oat milk like everyone else.

Grab that cheeky red you’ve been eyeing and enjoy a glass on a Google Hangout with the date or friend you’d otherwise be drinking with IRL.


… but for your creative at-home cocktails and definitely not to make hand sanitizer (leave that to the professionals; drinkable alcohol isn’t strong enough to kill virus nasties). And why would you waste your best Belvedere on cleaning?

A time of lockdown or quarantine means no nights out at your local bar or drinks with friends. Have some of your favorite tipples on hand for Friday evenings (while you’re watching The Sopranos or sitting through your teen’s pick for movie night). Grab that cheeky red you’ve been eyeing and enjoy a glass on a Google Hangout with the date or friend you’d otherwise be drinking with IRL.

Moisturizer, Your Friend

With all that hand-washing, sanitizing (and wringing), you might want to grab some extra moisturizer. The alcohol in sanitizers and frequent hand-washing can be super drying. And dried-out skin can crack, allowing germs to enter the body. Give your stressed-out skin some extra love. Lotion up. Be dewy, be content.

This We Don’t Recommend

Boredom leads to the internet and the internet is hell-bent on telling us things we don’t want to know. Like, did you know that there’s a website that tracks every confirmed case of coronavirus? In the world. In real-time? The site, simply titled Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases (Johns Hopkins University), is a dashboard of deaths, recovery figures, maps and more. Don’t go there.

Instead, embroider this mantra on a pillowcase: Be well, be patient, be kind.

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