Panic buying is all over the news. With the novel coronavirus threat and the government’s Metro Manila and Luzon lockdown protocol, people are buying everything they can in grocery stores. Although the administration reassured the public that there will be enough supplies and that buying is allowed despite the community quarantine, this did little in changing people’s behaviors. If you look at reports, shelves and racks in stores are quickly emptied.
Fear, however, doesn’t help anyone. It only adds fuel to the tension in the air. Plus, it leaves you unfocused, and in the end, you miss what you really need. Instead of panic, have a spirit of preparedness. Be level-headed so you can maximize the limited time you spend in the supermarkets that have remained open.
That said, here’s a list of what to buy and what not to during the lockdown:
WHAT TO BUY
- Canned Items. Fish, vegetables, and fruits in cans are convenient to eat and packed with essential nutrients, such as proteins and fat-soluble vitamins. These healthy options can help in boosting your immunity during this coronavirus outbreak. While they’re ready to eat, you can mix them in your favorite meals, such as pasta, salad, fried rice, or even soups.
- Beans. These are also great sources of plant protein, so it’s good for your health. Try different recipes of monggo while in home quarantine. Mix monggo in your breakfast fried rice. Cook up the classic ginisang monggo at chicharon for lunch. And then for merienda, make some ginataang monggo. This will give nourishment to the body, as well as normalcy for a fear-stricken household.
- Oats and Cereals. Oats are a healthy whole grain filled with lots of nutrients. They’re rich in carbs and fiber, as well as important vitamins and minerals including vitamin B1 and B5, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Cereals are nutritious choices too, as long as you know what to pick. In general, you look for a product that has under five grams of sugar per serving and at least three grams of fiber.
- Bread, Meat, and Seafood. Stored in the freezer, these items can be used later and for a longer period. Take note of proper storage for bread though. To keep it fresh, store bread in a plastic wrap or foil after it has been frozen. Seal it tightly and try to consume the bread within a week or two.
- Vegetables and fruits. Include in your grocery list the leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach; roots, including potatoes; plant stems, such as celery and asparagus; and of course, onions and garlic. Use the leafy greens and plant stems first. The others can be kept for a longer period of time. Of course, fruits should be in your grocery bags, too. They can help boost immunity. If the supermarket is out of fresh produce, consider getting frozen vegetables and fruits.
Household Items and Others
- Disinfectants. Don’t forget alcohol or sanitizer and bleach solutions, along with trash bins. You’ll be using these things to disinfect at home, especially when you have a loved one who exhibits coronavirus symptoms.
- Toiletries. Tissue papers, soap, and personal hygiene items, such as napkins, should be on your list.
- Medicines. There’s no treatment yet for coronavirus infection. But it will be helpful to get some over-the-counter drugs that provide relief for its symptoms: paracetamol for fever, anti-histamine for runny nose, throat lozenge for coughs. Do remember to follow your doctor’s recommendations and guidelines in the event of an actual sickness.
WHAT NOT TO BUY
It’s tempting to indulge in junk food when you’re comfortably at home, but this isn’t the time to slack off on your health. Remember that there’s a virus out there that can strike you and your family anytime. Now more than ever, pay attention to the nutrients you’re giving your body. That said, avoid loitering around the aisle of potato and corn chips.
That is, unless you’re sick or part of the skeletal workforce of your company. Otherwise, you won’t be needing it, since you’ll only be staying indoors. Leave the masks to people who need them the most: healthcare workers, law enforcement officials, and patients. If you have more at home, you can donate it to these organizations.
For all the essentials mentioned above, remember that other people need them, too. Out of courtesy and compassion for others during this stressful time, avoid buying more than what you can consume for the duration of the community quarantine. Instead, get what you only need for a month. As the government reassured the public, supermarkets will replenish stocks, so you can refill yours when they run low.
Panic buying is not the answer. Know the essentials and buy them in decent amounts. Bring this list with you the next time you go grocery shopping.