Prepare for self-isolation with this coronavirus shopping checklist

The novel coronavirus has arrived in Toronto, and although the unknown might be scary, buying out your local grocery store won’t help the situation. It’s important to remain calm and refrain from overbuying, but stocking up on a few extra items in anticipation for potential self-isolation also can’t hurt. So with that in mind, here are a few things you may need if you do end up in quarantine.

Antibacterial soap

Fun fact; hand sanitizer can remove the good bacterias from your hands, which reduces your natural immunities. Instead, wash your hands with antibacterial soap whenever you come in contact with other people or surfaces (or touch your face) for at least 20 seconds.

Pedialyte or other electrolyte-replacement beverages

If you do get sick, it’s important to stay hydrated. Pedialyte, Gatorade and other beverages can help you absorb more fluids, faster.

Typical flu medications

Don’t buy up masks, which will be desperately needed by people who are already sick, immunocompromised, and medical professionals. Instead, if you’re worried, buy medications you typically need for the regular flu — acetaminophen, anti-inflammatories, and decongestant medications.

Basic, essential groceries

You don’t need to buy out the toilet paper at Longo’s (seriously, don’t), but if you do get sick it’s important to have enough food and other essential groceries on hand to prevent infecting others with a grocery trip.

Make sure you have enough nonperishables, like canned soup, rice, pasta, and frozen vegetables, to last you the two-week quarantine period if needed. If you have pets or children, it’s important to keep their needs in mind as well. And if you’re running low on other necessities, such as cleaning supplies or toothpaste, now’s definitely a good time to stock up.

Supplies of any prescription medications

If you take any prescription medications, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and see if you can get an advance supply, in case of delays or illness. Some sources recommend a 30-day supply, although availability will depend on your medication.


Self-quarantine can be boring, so make sure you have plenty of things to entertain yourself. Books, games, television, movies — anything to pass the time!

Remember to wash your hands, stay calm and be kind to the people around you. We are all going through this together and it’s important to be mindful in this uncertain time.

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