Author Topic: Coronavirus preparedness  (Read 120986 times)

StashingAway

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #450 on: March 06, 2020, 12:06:21 PM »

Do you have an undersink filter you'd recommend? 

Because the water filters for my refrigerator cost an arm and a leg.

I have one of these: https://www.propurusa.com/Inline-Connect-FS10_p_219.html

It costs and arm and a leg; at $200/filter every two years it's not cheap but it's significantly cheaper than bottled water. Made in the US. It filters heavy metals, so if we were to have a lead-in-the-pipes incident we'd still have one faucet that was free of contaminents. If you're only worried about flavor, it's overboard (although it will work for that).

EngineerOurFI

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #451 on: March 06, 2020, 12:33:25 PM »
I thought main point of thread was to discuss overall preparedness measures, but it looks it has digressed a little bit into solely focusing on the idiots stocking bottled water by the truckload or how your city tap water tastes.

As for my family and COVID-19 preparedness:
I'm not really that worried about COVID-19 significantly negatively impacting me or my immediately family.  We're all young in my immediate family and unlikely to experience extreme negative side affects and I can easily work from home.  My wife could be somewhat more impacted with her job since she works with kids at a local theatre and these kids are literally all about to travel domestically and internationally to ~30 different places over next week - and while kids seem to have a lower contraction and death rate.....they'll still spread it to some degree.  But again, really not that overall concerned for my immediate family's safety and job, etc.

My only real concern is for my 50+ year old MIL with deficient immune system whose husband travels *all* over country nonstop.  If you look at stats on folks over 50 and especially over 60, it's really not great.

Regardless, some precautions are perfectly reasonable and rational.

I live in the gulf coast area and have lived through multiple pretty severe hurricanes including, most recently, Harvey.  As a result, I'm well aware of how even relatively minor supply chain disruptions can make certain things "never" an issue suddenly a major issue.  It is really very, very shocking how quickly, when living in a densely urban environment, it can go from "oh nothing is wrong" to "wow, I can't get ANYTHING I need" almost overnight.  And that's only due to *regional* supply chain disruptions.  A key difference with COVID-19 is that it is exceptionally unlikely that we will experience utility failures that are so problematic with hurricanes or other natural disasters - meaning our internet, electricity, water, and sewage will likely keep working 100% of the time and roads will remain open and clear (other than the worst-case scenario of roadblocks for larger quarantines).

As a result of my hurricane experience and perhaps my natural level of risk-tolerance that is heightened by having two kids under two, by default as just "normal" year-round preparedness we *always* keep extras of many of the "staples" such as Diapers, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Toothpaste, Tide, Woolite/Cheer Dark, Downy fabric softener, dryer sheets, spare light bulbs, spare 9V batteries for smoke detectors/flashlights, spare AA batteries for everything else, tissues (I have bad seasonal allergies), shampoo, deodorant, shower gel, hand soaps, children's Tylenol (we have little kids), wipes for kids (again, two under two), etc. etc.  From a mustachian perspective, I try to buy these things when I see good sales and I buy them in bulk (much like the MMM example of his brother-in-law or whoever that should buy cheese in large 1.5 lbs quantities when it's on sale).  We have at least a one month supply of all of these things if not a multi-month supply for most of them.  We do this year-round since it's just a few extra items to shove under bathroom counter or stack in the pantry and they're all non-perishable and last forever.  Plus it's just really annoying to run out of these things, so I'd rather not run out and pay retail when I could've stocked up during previous sale.  And, for anyone that has two small kids, you know that it's a helluva lot harder to go out and get everything you need with two little kids in tow - so it's better just to stock up once for an extended period of time than have to deal with getting all of these "non-foods" on each grocery trip.

Therefore, most of these items are a non-concern for me and my family.

However, I regularly travel internationally and domestically for work and it would not be surprising if I wound up needing to self-quarantine and social distance by staying at home for 14 days, so I feel that some slight additional planning measures are prudent.

Therefore, the only additional COVID-19 inspired steps I've been taking since early Jan are:

  • Increased stock of hand soaps in order to cover potential quarantine timeframes
  • Increased paper towel and toilet paper and facial tissue surpus by +1 large pack each
  • Purchased one pack of formula - this was completely redundant and likely uncessary.  My wife exclusively breastfeeds - but if SHTF then this would be good to have in case my wife was ill and production went down.  If no issue by end of 2020, I'll just donate this to a shelter or something.
  • 4-5 family meals that won't expire for a long period of time.  Stock up on pouches for toddler and stock up on some semi-non-perishables like peanut butter and nuts - same kind of prep we do every hurricane season in advance of potential supply chain disruptions.  My philosophy is that I have zero interest in stocking up on 2-3 weeks worth of food and I highly doubt supply chain disruptions will exceed more than ~5 days - so if I can cover 3 days with emergency food and ~2-3 days with "normal" food in fridge - I feel more than comfortable at this point
  • Stocking up on bottled water for drinking doesnt make sense in my mind since it's really difficult to imagine even in an imaginary scenario where everyone in country contracts virus that water utilities shut down.  However, we use distilled water in the sanitizer for my son's bottles f/ breastmilk - so I just bought a large 6 pack of that (roughly 3 week supply, I guess?)
  • Pack of gatorade that each of us like and drink as a "treat" every now and then to store as contingency.  This is also something we do every hurricane season.
  • Gas tank rule - same rule as hurricane season from June to Dec every year - gas tank never gets below 1/2.
  • Gas backup rule - same as hurricane season - gas tank for lawn mower stays refilled regularly
  • Car maintenance rule - same as hurricane season - cars get serviced 500 miles ahead of schedule and never get late (don't want to have places closing down and have to go thousands of miles overdue on service leading to potential damage/issues)
  • Lysol wipes - bought 2 packs to store as contingency in case communal spread gets widespread in our area and we need to start sanitzing doorknobs etc. - this is more of a "worst-case" purchase in my mind - but it costs $5.
  • wash my hands when i get to work, wash my hands the moment I get home, wash my hands before lunch, wash my hands after lunch, and wash my hands after leaving gym.  I already did most of this as normal hygeine - the only new thing was habit of washing hands the moment I get home.
  • We honestly aren't the "bathe the toddler and infant everynight" family.  Sorry - too much work.  But we're a lot closer to that model now.
  • This extra handwashing makes my hands dry, so my wife picked up 3 of my favorite hand lotion to keep at work where I'll actually use it.  Honestly, I needed to start doing this anyways.

This level of preparation is honestly about 1/10th the amount of work most families in this region do for hurricane season.

Honestly, my largest concern (other than in-laws and elderly family members) is COVID-19's impact to my company stock - down 38% since Dec 31.  Woof.  Hurts my previously ~$55k in RSUs.

In terms of financial steps (since that's the primary focus of this forum):
I had money in cash temporarily while market was at max to move to new Kid #2 college fund.  Timing on that turned out to be fortuitous.  DCA that into 529 now.  I was going to dump it all, but seems inevitable that market gets worse over next ~60 days until summer hopefully kicks the virus, so I'll DCA that $10k into Kid #2 529 plan over next ~5-7 weeks.

And I haven't converted last years IRA to Roth via backdoor IRA - so I need to go ahead and do that now since I've had some minor "gains" and the depressed market state will make sure I don't have any gains to get taxed.

Missy B

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #452 on: March 06, 2020, 12:56:58 PM »
On the news tonight, there were pictures of line ups out the door at a Vancouver Canada Costco because the virus was in a nursing home in a Seattle suburb 3 hours away.  Toilet paper was a popular item.  I plan to do my own run this week.
I looked that news item up and can tell from the picture, that's my Costco in downtown Vancouver.


Most of that is stuff I already had on hand.  And all if it is stuff I will use eventually.  I added some more pasta, canned sauce, and canned chicken to the supplies I already had (which I eat on an almost weekly basis). 

I can see why people don't, or can't feasibly stock up on meat.  But you would think they might grab a giant bag of nuts or something.
Yeah, we bought nuts ourselves. You can actually live on those and function like an adult, instead of having blood sugar crashes every 2 hours from eating all carbs.
Costco was fully stocked, basically untouched for every kind of nut they carry.

Honestly, I fear people's cluelessness and lack of ability to think and prepare properly for emergencies -- and subsequent panic and bad behaviour -- more than I fear the disaster.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You get the odd arsehole, but most people come together and help each other. I've lived through a city destroyed by quake and the aftermath, so I know this for fact. Example, even after the main stuff was sorted we were still having very large aftershocks. We had one while I was driving and the car in front of me started swerving and pulled off the road. I stopped to check and the woman driving was very upset by the aftershock. I was only one of FIVE CARS that stopped, including one that did a u turn.
That's really great. I'm certainly expecting a lot of people in my community to act in that way should we have a major disaster. I'm equally aware that when my city was tested at different times over the past couple of decades with some unusual situations and that there was massive bad behaviour, looting and property damage. There was a disturbing sense of justification about that behavior, as if it was okay because 'all bets were off' and normal rules didn't apply.

I see already the weakness in our social contract as a city. There has been 'every man for himself' hoarding in a large part of our population since the first whiff of coronavirus in Wuhan. We have not had stock of masks since it was initially announced, well ahead of most other places. There is zero sensibility among the hoarders that they should buy minimally to allow others to also protect themselves. Subsequently, people who are actually sick and should be wearing masks to protect others can't get them.

I watched a Youtube video made by a first responder to Katrina. He said that within 48 hours they were hearing automatic weapon fire. The wallmarts had been completely looted -- every last thing, including a lot that would be worse than useless during a disaster, like stuffed toys -- and even the floor tiles. People had pried up the floor tiles and taken them. Presumably as souvenirs, so they could feel that they'd 'gotten something.'

I think the quality of community response to disaster is very different depending on where you are and the sturdiness of the social contract. One of friends was visiting Chile during their 2010 earthquake. I asked her what she thought was worse, the earthquake itself or the reactions of the people after.
She said it was the people after. There was massive looting. Hundreds of people broke into the Costco near them and looted it. She said the strangest thing (and these were middle-class people, not the desperate poor hoping for a windfall) was watching people leave with carts full of frozen meat. There was no power. There was a lot of other damage and people acting irrationally. It was not safe in the streets.

Some places have a stronger community and social contract than others. Some places people pull together, share resources, help out strangers. In some places the social contract is really between family members, so you will do everything to protect your family, but your neighbor's difficulty is not your problem. He has his own family, and if they can't help him, too bad.
 



AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #453 on: March 06, 2020, 04:25:49 PM »
On the news tonight, there were pictures of line ups out the door at a Vancouver Canada Costco because the virus was in a nursing home in a Seattle suburb 3 hours away.  Toilet paper was a popular item.  I plan to do my own run this week.
I looked that news item up and can tell from the picture, that's my Costco in downtown Vancouver.


Most of that is stuff I already had on hand.  And all if it is stuff I will use eventually.  I added some more pasta, canned sauce, and canned chicken to the supplies I already had (which I eat on an almost weekly basis). 

I can see why people don't, or can't feasibly stock up on meat.  But you would think they might grab a giant bag of nuts or something.
Yeah, we bought nuts ourselves. You can actually live on those and function like an adult, instead of having blood sugar crashes every 2 hours from eating all carbs.
Costco was fully stocked, basically untouched for every kind of nut they carry.

Honestly, I fear people's cluelessness and lack of ability to think and prepare properly for emergencies -- and subsequent panic and bad behaviour -- more than I fear the disaster.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You get the odd arsehole, but most people come together and help each other. I've lived through a city destroyed by quake and the aftermath, so I know this for fact. Example, even after the main stuff was sorted we were still having very large aftershocks. We had one while I was driving and the car in front of me started swerving and pulled off the road. I stopped to check and the woman driving was very upset by the aftershock. I was only one of FIVE CARS that stopped, including one that did a u turn.
That's really great. I'm certainly expecting a lot of people in my community to act in that way should we have a major disaster. I'm equally aware that when my city was tested at different times over the past couple of decades with some unusual situations and that there was massive bad behaviour, looting and property damage. There was a disturbing sense of justification about that behavior, as if it was okay because 'all bets were off' and normal rules didn't apply.

I see already the weakness in our social contract as a city. There has been 'every man for himself' hoarding in a large part of our population since the first whiff of coronavirus in Wuhan. We have not had stock of masks since it was initially announced, well ahead of most other places. There is zero sensibility among the hoarders that they should buy minimally to allow others to also protect themselves. Subsequently, people who are actually sick and should be wearing masks to protect others can't get them.

I watched a Youtube video made by a first responder to Katrina. He said that within 48 hours they were hearing automatic weapon fire. The wallmarts had been completely looted -- every last thing, including a lot that would be worse than useless during a disaster, like stuffed toys -- and even the floor tiles. People had pried up the floor tiles and taken them. Presumably as souvenirs, so they could feel that they'd 'gotten something.'

I think the quality of community response to disaster is very different depending on where you are and the sturdiness of the social contract. One of friends was visiting Chile during their 2010 earthquake. I asked her what she thought was worse, the earthquake itself or the reactions of the people after.
She said it was the people after. There was massive looting. Hundreds of people broke into the Costco near them and looted it. She said the strangest thing (and these were middle-class people, not the desperate poor hoping for a windfall) was watching people leave with carts full of frozen meat. There was no power. There was a lot of other damage and people acting irrationally. It was not safe in the streets.

Some places have a stronger community and social contract than others. Some places people pull together, share resources, help out strangers. In some places the social contract is really between family members, so you will do everything to protect your family, but your neighbor's difficulty is not your problem. He has his own family, and if they can't help him, too bad.

You will always get those sorts, wherever you are. Where I live, the central city was completely evacuated. There were a couple of incidents of looting but the army was brought in very quickly to help/patrol. Our army isn't really a fighting force like america's. They do disaster relief and peace keeping in a lot of different countries. They're used to maintaining control of populations at ground level by working WITH those populations, and they did an amazing job in Christchurch.

It's entirely possible that NZ generally has a different attitude to our neighbours. We're a looooooong way from anywhere and a small population on islands the size of the UK. We already rely on each other. But arseholes are everywhere.

American GenX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #454 on: March 06, 2020, 04:36:27 PM »
Of course you're free to do what you want.  Just make your descisions on reality.  People have been lied to by companies that have created a market for something totally unnecessary - bottled water.  If you're buying water because of a misguided impression that it's safer than tap water, then good news!  That's totally unnecessary.  If you don't like the taste of your tap water, then good news!  You can save money buy buying a cheap filter, or by letting the water sit out/refrigerate it.

I'm not doing any of those things.  I have never bought bottled water, ever.  But I accept people's freedom to do so in this country.  Also, if someone has contaminated tap water that is unfit for drinking, bottled water would typically be safer for them, and that's the very people I was speaking of in my initial post.
Meaning that you accept people's (by which I suspect you probably mean American's) freedom to pollute the one earth we have in any way they like?

No, that's not what I mean at all.  Yes, I was thinking about Americans drinking bottled water.  I think the bottles should be disposed of properly and legally, preferably in a recycling container.  But I support their freedom to drink bottled water vs. unsafe or horrible tasting water, if that's an issue for them.  I drink from the tap, myself.

Ohhh come on the majority of people buying bottled water buy it out of vanity or perceived convenience not because their water is bad or they have health issues.

Ummm.... I never said a majority.  I said, "some," so it appears you missed my original post about it:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/coronavirus-preparedness/msg2574081/#msg2574081

For the health part, it's more about preventing health problems caused by bad water, not because they already have health problems, although that could be true also.  And I stated in that original post that some people simply prefer it.  That's their choice.

Quote
The rest of people need to step the f up and do what is right for the planet and that is not filling it with a bunch of plastic trash.
Buy a reusable bottle, fill it with water rinse / repeat

But people are free to do what they want with their money, legally.  So you are just stressing yourself out for nothing.  And they could properly dispose of the bottles instead of committing pollution, preferably by recycling, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #455 on: March 06, 2020, 07:03:08 PM »
...(much like the MMM example of his brother-in-law or whoever that should buy cheese in large 1.5 lbs quantities when it's on sale)...

I found this entertaining.  1.5 lbs of cheese is a large quantity?  We live in the PNW where the Tillamook 2-pound Baby Loaf is the standard size, and we typically have 5 of these in our stash at any given time.  We "stocked up" and added a 5-pound Loaf to the mix.  The stuff just gets sharper as it ages, so the longer we have it, the better it gets.

EngineerOurFI

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #456 on: March 06, 2020, 08:22:46 PM »
@Taran Wanderer
First, love the user name.  Totally forgot about that series until I saw your user name.  Loved it as a kid.

Second, I guess I should’ve bothered to look up the article.  It was 12 pounds of cheese not 1.5.  I pulled a Brian Williams and didn’t consider the consumption, nor bothered to look up the article. #lazymoment.....but it still sounds like you go through WAY more cheese than our family, lol. 

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/09/20/wealth-advice-that-should-be-obvious/

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #457 on: March 06, 2020, 08:44:07 PM »
12 pounds sounds about right!

Mariposa

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #458 on: March 06, 2020, 09:43:43 PM »
Back to preparedness . . .

1. Talking with DH about what we're going to do about childcare in the event of school closing. I'm my 4yo's primary caregiver, and we don't have any family nearby. But I'm also a healthcare provider, so should my job become more critical than DH's, he's going to have to be prepared to do all the childcare.

2. Prepare for quarantine in the event of exposure or being diagnosed. This means 2-3 weeks of food and essential supplies. There are as of today 44 diagnosed cases in my area and ~4000 under quarantine, and that number seems to being going up exponentially each day. It would be hard staying in our 1000sq ft space with our 4yo, but we'd get through it. I envy people living in single family homes, where, depending on the setup, you could still go in the backyard, garden, maybe even go out on drives, and maybe even get to a really remote place where you could walk around.

One thing I've thought about is how we'd be able to do laundry with no washer or dryer in our apartment, which is a common thing in NYC. It's not a quarantine if we're bringing our dirty clothes, used towels and face cloths, etc to a communal space. We'd have to hand wash our laundry for a few weeks.

3. Prepare for possible short-term disruptions in the global supply chain: several months of essential medications and anything else you can't live without. I'm not anticipating a no electricity / water / food type situation.

4. Prepare to possibly work at home. Prepare for possible layoffs as some businesses go bankrupt. Prepare for extended periods of no pay if you're an hourly worker. The people on this site are the most prepared out of anyone for these scenarios, but lots of people are going to hit hard by the economic disruption.

Healthcare workers on this thread: are you doing anything in particular to prepare? As a person in my 40s in good health with medical training, I feel like I'd be called to the front lines if our medical system truly becomes strained. I haven't put an IV in since residency, and I only ever intubated someone in medical school, but I could probably become pretty good in the field after a couple of weeks. I live in an area with a really high per capita number of healthcare providers, though, and a strong local public health system. So hopefully it won't come to that.

I would say most people I talk to IRL are pretty blythe, even as more new cases are being diagnosed here every day. We ourselves are still going out, riding mass transit, going to restaurants.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 09:46:25 PM by Mariposa »

better late

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #459 on: March 06, 2020, 10:16:52 PM »
We “prepped” with our typical bulk purchases from Costco that we always have on hand  - including especially coffee. That way if you are quarantined and have to ask someone to pick up some groceries you can give them a short list. Have always had bottles of hand sanitizer in the house and in every car and several canisters of Clorox wipes. I typically always have back ups of items we use daily. I was pleased to see that I had a couple of big bottles of rubbing alcohol and cotton balls in the linen closet for wiping down the thermometer. Along with Tylenol and the like, cough drops would be good to have on hand. A nice stack of library books is is a wonderful diversion.

But in some ways the way to prepare for this is exactly what people on the forum do every day. Learn how to cook a nice variety of food so a monotony of home made meals doesn’t affect your mental well being. A few meals in the freezer is a great head start, along with other frozen and pantry ingredients on hand. Have a cash cushion so you can take two weeks off work (or more if you fall ill) without starting a free-fall into financial failure. Know how to entertain yourself at home and how to enjoy time with your family. Maintain your friend group (and look for ways to help others) to have people you can call on for help or to call and keep you company over the phone. Maintain your health and fitness to the degree you are able. Having an instrument or a hobby that you enjoy is priceless.

Stocking up on items is fine but you can’t buy your way out of the discomfort of quarantine.



norajean

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #460 on: March 07, 2020, 02:54:56 AM »
We are not doing anything special. It all seems overblown. People over react or have seen too many zombie movies.

American GenX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #461 on: March 07, 2020, 06:37:35 AM »
We are not doing anything special. It all seems overblown. People over react or have seen too many zombie movies.

I don't see how it's overblown.   It's spreading faster and is killing more people.  Even if you are younger and think it won't kill you, you can still spread it to vulnerable people.  Think of others.

TomTX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #462 on: March 07, 2020, 07:36:11 AM »
Do you have an undersink filter you'd recommend? 

Because the water filters for my refrigerator cost an arm and a leg.

I just did an inline filter for the water feed to the fridge.

Example (3 pack for $22, Prime)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3I7MOE

rjfan

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #463 on: March 07, 2020, 07:49:19 AM »
Hey

I live in Europe, Estonia. I have small apartment with wife and 2 kids. I'm in no way a prepper.
I followed advice in book Cody Lundin: "When All Hell Breaks Loose...". For any disaster he advices to take care of things in this order: Mental preparedness > Shelter (includes clothing) > Water > Food > Sanitation > Lighting > Safety

I have nothing to add to mental preparedness. I had open talk with wife and parents, where to go, what to do, what to expect. We made lists of things we use daily. Everybody agreed that the bright side is that this virus does not touch small kids.

For shelter i have backup apartment with wood oven heating. I think it has like half year supply of firewood. The book advices against going to the woods and trying to Rambo it out. I have no place to go outside of main cities. So thats where i'll be.

For water i got water canisters for 2 weeks supply, or 110 liters. And water treatment chemicals if mains supply is disrupted. I had buy iodine, because chlorine bleach is banned for general public in Europe. That was a big shock for me, I understand that you guys in America can buy it in supermarkets with no problem.

For food i got 1 month of supply of things we usually eat, and that needs preparing with hot water. Wheat, spaghetti, canned meat, various canned vegetables etc. We use same stuff to cook daily meals, except canned meat. I also got about 1 week or less food that does not need preparing, like cookies, peanuts, candy. I bought gas primus and another heat source, swedish army ethanol burner (don't know it's english translation) for cooking. Coffee and wine for comfort. I'd advice you to stock up anything that you use daily, like smokes, or anything that you have dependency on, mine is coffee.

For sanitation. Trashbags for toilet, lots of soap. Masks are all sold out in local stores, i ordered some from amazon.

For lighting. Led lamps, flashlight, batteries and candles.

For safety, nothing. I don't know if it's wise to get a gun. Based on the book, violence is not the main reason for death in disaster, its pretty much the last.

All that cost me ca. 700 euros, or ca. 800 dollars. Things that cost the most were medical supplies, gas primus, N95 masks that i ordered from amazon for probably triple price, water containers. Food was ca. 200 euros.

I also know from personal experience that water treatment and power generation atleast in my country should not get distrupted. Entire process is very automated, and i have worked in automation in both areas.


I was laid off also, a week ago, thanks to coronavirus, business dried out and management paniced. Theoretically, i have 6 months, or 12 (thanks to some unemployment insurance) if I put some effort to it before i have to go touch my investments. I was laid off in previous crisis also, in year 2008 or 2009. I had cash reserves then. So i just did nothing, worked on hobbies, worked out, it was a nice relaxing period.


CrustyBadger

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #464 on: March 07, 2020, 08:47:49 AM »
My husband is severely disabled and unable to care for himself.  I also have two high school aged, very competent kids.

I've decided to prepare for us to be ill, and to try to keep my husband, especially, from getting sick himself.   Because of his illness and age he is in a very high-risk category, but he needs me to take care of him.

If I become ill, I will need to isolate myself from the family.  We have two bathrooms so one will be the sick person's bathroom and the other will be for everyone else.  The first sick person will isolate in the downstairs bedroom closest to the bathroom. and just stay there!

I made a sick box for everyone in the family with a thermometer (my husband has one he can operate himself with limited dexterity); some ginger-ale type drinks, and ready to heat soups; kleenex, garbage bags, sanitizing wipes, a bar of soap, and bleach spray; and a few masks.  For my husband's box I also put in some emergency baby food squeeze bottles, shelf stable milk cartons, water bottles and cheerios.  Things he could hopefully access himself to eat and drink for a while if we weren't able to help him.

In each box I also have some disposable plates and cups and utensils.

I also have one pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation in case someone can't breathe well.

I can't think of anything else to put so if anyone has suggestions for a sick box please share!

frugaldrummer

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #465 on: March 07, 2020, 09:00:16 AM »
When I first started discussing this last month with this thread and one other I was lambasted for being an alarmist. Now much of what I discussed has or is coming true. In fact yesterday the CDC advised that people over 60 should just stay home as much as possible (I’m slightly over but in good health). https://apple.news/AymksIYXBTtKFax4b1DrWpg

My local Costco is completely out of toilet paper, although my son says they are still getting some into the grocery store he works at. Hand sanitizer is gone. I feel fortunate to have stocked up weeks ago.

It’s not affecting my business yet but I expect it will soon. I need to have a discussion with my business partner this weekend about contingency plans - how will we pay our employees, how long, how much business can we do by phone?

American GenX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #466 on: March 07, 2020, 09:13:48 AM »
When I first started discussing this last month with this thread and one other I was lambasted for being an alarmist.

And some of us, like myself, thought it would be worse.  I haven't seen anything to make me think any differently.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #467 on: March 07, 2020, 09:44:09 AM »
We've been washing our hands more often and avoiding touching surfaces that the general public touches.   But that's not because of covid-19, that's because we've had several cases of yucky crud in the last few years and we're tired of getting it.

We live in an area that can be affected by hurricanes.   Flooding, closed roads due to dam weakness or failure or downed trees, power outages due to massive numbers of downed trees, etc.   So we keep a water-tight tub of supplies and non-perishable foodstuffs and gas cylinders and charcoal during hurricane season.   In the past, we might be without power for 5 days and food deliveries to the grocery stores can be severely impacted by flooded out roads.   A couple of years ago, Wilmington was cut off from ALL road access to the rest of the country for a goodly while.   We only had one small road in and out of our city for a few days and parts of the city were disrupted by flooding.  (We don't buy houses that are likely to be flooded, geography matters...)

When we moved a month ago we took that as an opportunity to toss out any expired foodstuffs.    So our stock of emergency supplies was a bit low.  Basically, we've just re-stocked our hurricane supplies a few months early.   Our new house has a natural-gas-powered full-house power generator, so we should have electricity even if the rest of the neighborhood doesn't.   Because of that we've added more bulk rice, dried beans and pasta to our emergency supplies since boiling water won't be an issue.

We got spoiled at the last house because it had two refrigerators.   I'm going to pick up a 2nd one for our new house.   That way we don't have stuff crammed in and overflowing, plus it lets us have plenty of cold drinks and prepared dishes for when we have company.   As a bonus, when the neighborhood is without power, we can let our neighbors store their expensive perishables in it.  Somehow, I doubt the previous owner would have thought of doing something like that, he seemed to take a lot of glee in having power when others didn't.


TomTX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #468 on: March 07, 2020, 09:55:37 AM »
My local Costco is completely out of toilet paper, although my son says they are still getting some into the grocery store he works at. Hand sanitizer is gone. I feel fortunate to have stocked up weeks ago.

Went by Costco this morning, looked pretty close to a normal Saturday, except they had more lanes open. Limits on purchases of vinegar, rice, flour, toilet paper of 2 per membership.

Which really is quite reasonable - the vinegar is more than a gallon. Rice and flour are 25 or 50 lb sacks. Toilet paper is an enormous bale.

I did still see people with two bales of TP.

Imma

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #469 on: March 07, 2020, 02:47:37 PM »
When I first started discussing this last month with this thread and one other I was lambasted for being an alarmist.

And some of us, like myself, thought it would be worse.  I haven't seen anything to make me think any differently.

I still haven't made up my mind about how worried I should be about this virus, but it looks like we've got community spread in my area. Authorities have requested that anyone with flu/cold like symptoms or fever stay at home. I know several people who have been in touch with someone who had the virus. Hospitals allow only 1 visitor per patient now and have cancelled non-urgent operations. It feels like we're on the brink of something.

People are idiots, by the way. All week I've heard people complain that our government 'does nothing' unlike China, and now the government does something, ordering you to stay home if you are sick, and now people complain they're not going to stay home from work if they've got a simple cold...

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #470 on: March 07, 2020, 02:59:47 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #471 on: March 07, 2020, 03:49:17 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

It's a germ killer and cleaner.


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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #472 on: March 07, 2020, 03:52:47 PM »
My husband is severely disabled and unable to care for himself.  I also have two high school aged, very competent kids.

I've decided to prepare for us to be ill, and to try to keep my husband, especially, from getting sick himself.   Because of his illness and age he is in a very high-risk category, but he needs me to take care of him.

If I become ill, I will need to isolate myself from the family.  We have two bathrooms so one will be the sick person's bathroom and the other will be for everyone else.  The first sick person will isolate in the downstairs bedroom closest to the bathroom. and just stay there!

I made a sick box for everyone in the family with a thermometer (my husband has one he can operate himself with limited dexterity); some ginger-ale type drinks, and ready to heat soups; kleenex, garbage bags, sanitizing wipes, a bar of soap, and bleach spray; and a few masks.  For my husband's box I also put in some emergency baby food squeeze bottles, shelf stable milk cartons, water bottles and cheerios.  Things he could hopefully access himself to eat and drink for a while if we weren't able to help him.

In each box I also have some disposable plates and cups and utensils.

I also have one pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation in case someone can't breathe well.

I can't think of anything else to put so if anyone has suggestions for a sick box please share!

Sounds very sensible for your situation. Don't forget the bigger things - keep your car full of gas, have some cash on hand (small bills), and an extra gas bottle if your household uses that.

Given your husband's vulnerability, perhaps you should set up a clean station by your front door for your family and for visitors? Just a mask if they feel a bit off, and hand sanitiser for everyone before they enter the house.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #473 on: March 07, 2020, 04:06:26 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?
,Vinegar. Vinegar can be used as a safer bleach alternative for some applications, such as cleaning, and research has shown it can be affective against some bacteria and viruses, including the flu. ... Vinegar is not a registered disinfectant, however, and does not kill dangerous bacteria like staphylococcus."

From some random online source

GuitarStv

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #474 on: March 07, 2020, 05:05:52 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

Fries are otherwise inedible.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #475 on: March 07, 2020, 05:10:03 PM »
I'm feeling glad that I stocked up on some things bit by bit over the last several weeks. I do my grocery shopping on Saturday and the stores were definitely busier than usual.

I even went in to Bath and Bodyworks to buy a candle for a bday present and it was full of people buying out the hand sanitizer. When I asked a lady why she was buying several tiny two dollar bottles of sanitizer she said all the other stores were already sold out.

Madness.

All the pasta and sauce, toilet paper, and eggs were gone at our aldi. We do not have any confirmed cases in our state.


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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #476 on: March 07, 2020, 05:35:32 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

Fries are otherwise inedible.
Only to a Canadian.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #477 on: March 07, 2020, 06:26:23 PM »
Went to the grocery store in Madison today. Regular Saturday busy. Plenty of tp, hand soap, cleaning supplies, et al.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #478 on: March 07, 2020, 06:46:04 PM »

MayDay

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #479 on: March 07, 2020, 07:59:22 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

It's a germ killer and cleaner.

We use vinegar to clean everything but it doesn't kill influenza, norovirus, etc. You need actually bleach. Or plain old soap.

the_fixer

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #480 on: March 07, 2020, 08:59:08 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

Cucumbers in vinegar mmmm

Grandma use to make them all of the time


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Reader

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #481 on: March 07, 2020, 11:28:30 PM »
I live in Singapore. Last week, I had a dry cough and a runny nose, went to the doctor who came out of the clinic all suited up, took my temperature, had a good listen to my lungs and gave me 5 days of medical leave. her instructions to me were : (1) stay home and rest (2) if you start to have a fever >38.4 Celsius or have difficulty breathing, go straight to the hospital. do not come back to the clinic if (2) is true.

i was given 5 days worth of Claritin and cough syrup, and i was alright by the third day. i stayed home for the whole 5 days, cooking all my meals, reading my books and watching netflix. i'm someone who tends to stock up the fridge, freezer and larder so i'm good on the food front. it was an exercise of "eat everything in my larder" like one of the threads.

after my 5 days at home, the stuff i did stock up was to take care of two scenarios (1) what if you had a cold or flu, quarantined and had to stay home for up to 14 days in case it might be the conoravirus? (2) what if you were quarantined for a month? so far quarantines are about 14 days but in Italy it was extended.

i stay in an apartment, had water, electricity, internet. so what i needed was primarily food, medication and entertainment. one good point an earlier poster mentioned as the washing machine and dryer. it didn't cross my mind to "prepare" for this as almost every apartment in singapore had a washing machine and many like mine has a dryer. it's inconceivable to most people in Singapore to share a washing machine or dryer due to hygiene concerns.

so the things i stocked up are :
1. vegetables and fruits, eggs for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. frozen veg, fish and  meat for up to a month. rice/pasta for a month of meals. cooking oil, canned tomatoes, spices, soy sauce, salt, sugar, pepper. oats, flaxseed, soy milk and dried fruits for one month of oat smoothie breakfasts.
2. cold, flu meds for 2 weeks.
3. a thermometer to measure my temperature.
4. soap (sanitisers do not wash off the virus) and detergent. it's better to just wash your hands. one post on facebook was quite funny and on point. you should wash your hands as if you had just finished cutting a big bowl of chillis/jalapeńos and want to take your contacts off. and touch your face as frequently as you touch your contacts.
5. tea and hot chocolate. cos they are great when you have a cold.
6. washing powder, a bottle of the concentrate lasts for 50 washes which is like a year for me.
7. tissue paper.

these were all the things i actually used up in the 5 days so i figured, these were all i really need for a month.

now that i've stocked up, i also started cooking and eating at home regularly cos food spoils. and i hate wasted food. so that meant a lot less meals out at restaurants. so far the evidence is that people catch it from people they have close contact with (family and friends or in crowds). so meals at home in times like this is an appropriate change. it certainly saved me a lot of money in the last month...

the things i started doing nowadays :
1. no handshakes at work
2. no sharing of food/drinks even with family
3. going off to sneeze/cough and to wash my hands, as people get really uncomfortable if you start coughing or sneezing. it's more likely a cold than covid-19 but no one knows.
4. avoiding crowds.

the public cafes do not use disposables so it's likely that i'm considering whether to bring my own cutlery. a lot of americans bring lunch to work so i guess that is not so much of an issue in the US.

i don't understand the run on toilet paper. you can always have a shower or use water and soap.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #482 on: March 07, 2020, 11:54:37 PM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

It's a germ killer and cleaner.

We use vinegar to clean everything but it doesn't kill influenza, norovirus, etc. You need actually bleach. Or plain old soap.

Yes it does. Doesn't kill every single thing, but it's a good, effective option for cleaning surfaces in a home. Especially if you have pets and children that are sensitive to commercial cleaners.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-01-12/does-vinegar-really-kill-household-germs/8806878

SquashingDebt

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #483 on: March 08, 2020, 05:20:19 AM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

It's a germ killer and cleaner.

We use vinegar to clean everything but it doesn't kill influenza, norovirus, etc. You need actually bleach. Or plain old soap.

Yes it does. Doesn't kill every single thing, but it's a good, effective option for cleaning surfaces in a home. Especially if you have pets and children that are sensitive to commercial cleaners.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-01-12/does-vinegar-really-kill-household-germs/8806878

I did read yesterday that vinegar doesn't kill coronavirus.  Seemed like a reputable source but didn't totally verify.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #484 on: March 08, 2020, 06:24:05 AM »
Vinegar?  Why would one need that?

It's a germ killer and cleaner.

We use vinegar to clean everything but it doesn't kill influenza, norovirus, etc. You need actually bleach. Or plain old soap.

Yes it does. Doesn't kill every single thing, but it's a good, effective option for cleaning surfaces in a home. Especially if you have pets and children that are sensitive to commercial cleaners.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-01-12/does-vinegar-really-kill-household-germs/8806878

I did read yesterday that vinegar doesn't kill coronavirus.  Seemed like a reputable source but didn't totally verify.

It's quite easy to denature viruses. They don't come with capsules and things of the nature of bacterial ones. Viruses are pretty delicate, generally. Anyway, I'm not actually relying on vinegar to kill coronavirus. I'm relying on vinegar to cut through grease and soap scum and other crap that provides a nice place for bacteria and viruses to hang out for a bit. I use it on surfaces like sinks and counters, and in the shower. For toilets I use bleach!

TomTX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #485 on: March 08, 2020, 07:27:42 AM »
I did read yesterday that vinegar doesn't kill coronavirus.  Seemed like a reputable source but didn't totally verify.

I dug down to primary sources on these claims when I saw them - it's that vinegar isn't proven to kill the COVID-19 coronavirus. Because nobody has officially tested it - so officially, it's not a known method. It has been show to kill influenza, etc.

former player

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #486 on: March 08, 2020, 11:56:51 AM »
I have yet to understand why there is a run on antibacterial handwashes when COVID19 is …. a virus.  AKA not a bacterium.

nereo

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #487 on: March 08, 2020, 01:54:09 PM »
[

Brita-style filters are a waste of both money and resources IMO.  Instead, get an under-sink 10" filter.  The initial cost is around $80 for a two-stage, but the replacement filters are $5 and last for 4,000-10,000 gallons (vs 40 gallons per Brita filter).  That's a 100x increase, and the two-stage means they work a hell of a lot better.

If you've got really objectionable water or want to just go overboard with filtering you can get an undersink RO + 3 stage for about $150.



Do you have an undersink filter you'd recommend? 

Because the water filters for my refrigerator cost an arm and a leg.
[/quote]

(Just returning to this thread now)

The filter I installed in our current house is two canisters that hold standard 10” x 2.5” filters attached in series. The parts were all off-the-shelf from my local big-box hardware store, and IIRC the canister holders were ~$25 each, the fittings were another $10 and the two filters each cost $5.

For just a bit more you can buy this as a ready-to-install kit from a number of companies.  One common one is iSpring.  Here’s a link to a 3-stage version: https://www.amazon.com/Ecosoft-Filtration-Healthy-Drinking-Classic/dp/B07CQ7HJVY/ref=sr_1_54_sspa?keywords=I+spring+under+sink+water+two+stage&qid=1583696717&sr=8-54-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEySUc3SDZQUFBDT1RMJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDA4NTAyM1M1NEZJMFMzQkZXMSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTgzNDI1MzlGU0VBUk5IUk1USiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2J0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

The filters themselves are very cheap - $4 to $7 depending on the filtration/brand.  Most are rated to at least 4,000 gallons, some to 10,000 gallons.  I change ours twice per year; the first is a sediment filter that goes down to 5µicron, the second is a carbon block to improve water taste.  With a 3-stage you could add an additional 1µicron and/or run two carbon filters.


If you’re concerned about removing heavy metals in addition to sediment and taste, go with an RO unit.  Those are $150-200, and typically are 3-stage pre-filters (5 µicron, carbon block and 1µicron) plus the RO membrane).  They’re all designed to fit comfortably under most kitchen sinks. The RO Membranes are around $20, so expect to spend ~$35 every 6 months changing them.... but stil way, way cheaper than bottled water.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #488 on: March 08, 2020, 01:55:09 PM »
I have yet to understand why there is a run on antibacterial handwashes when COVID19 is …. a virus.  AKA not a bacterium.

Because people are uneducated and don't understand the difference beyond "it makes you sick!"

We were out at BJ's this afternoon, and it was no more crowded than a usual day.  They had hand sanitizer and wipes at the door, but they were also still offering free samples (I had heard samples were cancelled, but apparently not here.)  Home Depot was significantly more crowded than usual, which I put down to the nice weather.  Dust masks were sold out though.  Too bad, DH wanted some for an upcoming home project, and a dust mask won't filter out viruses anyway.

We're not stocking up on supplies any more than normal, but in practice that means I could still probably feed us for 2-3 weeks without shopping if we really had to.  We'd miss fresh veggies, though.

Imma

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #489 on: March 08, 2020, 02:27:09 PM »
I have been stocking up a little bit as the virus is getting closer. I don't personally know anyone who's been infected but I know people who do, so there's only one degree of seperation now. I know several people who work in hospitals where staff was infected. One person cancelled a meal date I had with them because they know I'm vulnerable and they have been in contact with patients who have it. It is concerning how many hospital workers are affected - it seems that at least in our local facilities the disease wasn't immediately recognized which allowed it to spread.

I always have a couple weeks of food in the home and I haven't been stocking up large amounts of food, I just try to buy a little extra of everything that's on my list. I just bought two bags of rice and chickpeas today while I only needed one of each. Grocery stores still deliver but they leave the food on your doorstep now instead of carrying it in.

TomTX

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #490 on: March 08, 2020, 02:29:26 PM »

For just a bit more you can buy this as a ready-to-install kit from a number of companies.  One common one is iSpring.  Here’s a link to a 3-stage version: https://www.amazon.com/Ecosoft-Filtration-Healthy-Drinking-Classic/dp/B07CQ7HJVY

As an aside, you can trim down Amazon links by removing the /ref and anything after it. Example above is the trimmed version of your link.

nereo

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #491 on: March 08, 2020, 02:52:27 PM »

For just a bit more you can buy this as a ready-to-install kit from a number of companies.  One common one is iSpring.  Here’s a link to a 3-stage version: https://www.amazon.com/Ecosoft-Filtration-Healthy-Drinking-Classic/dp/B07CQ7HJVY

As an aside, you can trim down Amazon links by removing the /ref and anything after it. Example above is the trimmed version of your link.

Didn’t know that. Thanks!

Helvegen

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #492 on: March 08, 2020, 04:18:56 PM »
In my area, people should have already been stocked up on bottled water because of earthquakes that will destroy water lines and wells.

I have basically everything I need. I did a final good Costco run a few days ago to stock up on OTC meds and supplements and I think I am good for a long time now.

For fun, I started growing seedlings and should have some radishes in a few weeks.

My daughter's school district has done probably literally everything but cancel the instructional day. I told my daughter it is likely only a matter of days before they do close it at this rate.

Missy B

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #493 on: March 08, 2020, 06:24:49 PM »
I have yet to understand why there is a run on antibacterial handwashes when COVID19 is …. a virus.  AKA not a bacterium.

Because people are stupid. It should be illegal to add triclosan to products for residential use. All they do is put more antibiotic into the environment for bacteria to develop resistance to. And the idiots who use the stuff are all 'oh, it's just in case, you know.' They feel safer, but it makes us all less safe. Soap on its own is quite effective, and for things beyond soap's powers, bleach or peroxide should be used.


SimpleCycle

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #494 on: March 08, 2020, 09:04:15 PM »
I have yet to understand why there is a run on antibacterial handwashes when COVID19 is …. a virus.  AKA not a bacterium.

Is it antibacterial specifically or soap in general?  Antibacterial soap is effective at washing away viruses, just like regular soap.

Alcohol based hand sanitizers are effective against both viruses and bacteria.

Eilonwy

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #495 on: March 09, 2020, 05:08:39 PM »
CrustyBadger -- you sound very prepared! One suggestion I have is to add a few comfort items, if you can, based on your knowledge of your family. If I were making one for my daughter, for example, I'd be sure to put in a soft stuffed toy.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #496 on: March 09, 2020, 07:53:16 PM »
I started picking up some extras a week ago during my usual shopping.  Mostly I bought extras of things I will use anyway, but don't usually keep this many on hand.  I also bought stuff I would want if I had a serious cold.

I use distilled water with my cPAP, so picked up 4 gallons instead of 2 and will probably get 4 more on my next trip.  It's always a good idea to have a safe water supply in case of emergency.

I don't usually buy canned soup, but picked up 8 cans in case I get sick.  I crave OJ whenever I have a cold but otherwise don't drink it, so I bought a bottle with a May date.  Tomorrow I plan to pick up cold medicine and rubbing alcohol.  My cold medicine is expired and I was going to get some anyway.  I've been meaning to get alcohol so I can put up Command hooks and keep forgetting.

I stocked enough non-perishable to fill my cabinets and freezer.  They're pretty small, but I had enough to last me at least a month if I'm eating at home all the time.  I'm about due to buy TP (Sam's Club) so I'll get 2 instead of 1 if they have it.  I added some Kleenex with lotion to this month's S&S, because I'm down to one box and always use them if I have a cold.  Amazon had them discounted.

After tomorrow, I'll be staying out of the stores as much as possible.  I usually eat a lot of fresh produce, so this could get old real fast.  Except for the canned soup and OJ this is all stuff I would have bought anyways, just accelerated.

I'm really not concerned for myself, and I don't do panic.  Post-apocalyptic fiction is a favorite reading genre of mine, so I tend to want to be a least somewhat prepared.  (If you're looking for something interesting to read, try The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly.)

Also, just want to say I think frugaldrummer's posts were appropriate and well written, and not at all inflammatory.



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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #497 on: March 09, 2020, 07:53:53 PM »
CrustyBadger -- you sound very prepared! One suggestion I have is to add a few comfort items, if you can, based on your knowledge of your family. If I were making one for my daughter, for example, I'd be sure to put in a soft stuffed toy.

My entertainment strategy is a few board games, puzzles, and decks of cards we have around, and my Kindle (via library for free or pay if I need to) and TV as a distant back-up.  Trapped at home for 2-3 weeks having to read!  That's an introvert's paradise!

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #498 on: March 09, 2020, 11:49:36 PM »
Side note: do not drink distilled water. DI strips electrolytes from your system.

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Re: Coronavirus preparedness
« Reply #499 on: March 10, 2020, 06:52:34 AM »
A friend shared this link yesterday which I found helpful: the author has a background in infectious diseases and vaccine development.  Trained in the UK but now in the US.  It has a nice mix of the facts about what we do (and don't) know about the virus, and some practical suggestions for things we can all do to help "flatten the curve" so that the peak doesn't overwhelm our healthcare system, resulting in unnecessary deaths and hardship.

https://www.flattenthecurve.com/