COVID-19 How should Pakistanis stay prepared for Pandemic

Convid 19 Pakistan
A health official of an emergency rescue service checks the body temperature of a government employee in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

As horrifying as it can get, the world is now recognizing the vulnerability of human population to deadly virus COVID-19 that has already affected over 3.5 million humans around the global with death toll reaching above 260,000 according to Worldometer.

Pakistan has been very lucky in this crisis as the spread of virus is contained due to efficient response of Government of Pakistan, Armed forces and specifically Sindh government in containing affected population outside the borders and taking immediate action in limiting crowded movements in mega cities like Karachi.

However, as time passes by, the cases have started increasing in different cities of the country and the threat of COVID-19’s spread is becoming worse. The government has already lifted lockdown partially and in coming days it may be reimposed in specific areas if the cases count keeps increasing. Therefore, here are few basic things that we need to store now to avoid panic and become part of any hoarding as well as deal with isolation at homes in case a localized lockdown is imposed in our area.

Medicinal Supplies

Instead of keeping heaps of face masks and sanitizers alone, you need to keep a reasonable amount of sanitizer bottles and pack or two of masks at home as Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that masks should be worn only when needed and not unnecessarily at home or workplaces. More focus should be on maintaining a two-month supply of life saving drugs for patients of Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart disease and others, in case there is any shortage in market. Also, since prevention from the virus or its treatment is recommended at home first, you should have basic flu and fever supplies like

Pain killers like Panadol

Simple saline solution

Expectorants for mucus forming flu

Bronchodilator like Ventolin, Salbutamol that increases airflow to lungs

Lastly, immune system is very crucial in avoiding spread of this virus and thus, immune boosting vitamins like Vitamin C and other immunity boosters should be bought.

Pantry Supplies

Before rushing to the market for getting your hands on everything on the shelf, STOP! Take a few minutes to go through your pantry and analyze what ingredients and food items you already have. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every house hold should have a maximum of two weeks food supply with them in case of quarantine. For Pakistani households, you can stock up these items based on your needs

  • Basic spices like red chilies, salt, pepper, garam masala
  • Fresh chicken or meat that can be frozen
  • Fried preserved onions for desi food recipes
  • Extra bag of flour and rice
  • Healthy grains like oats and barley
  • Cartons of any tetra pack milk or powdered milk, tea and other essentials.

Since fruits and vegetables are perishable, you can opt for either frozen vegetables or if they are expensive, get a hold of vegetables that freeze well like tomatoes, peas and spinach.

Antibacterial Sprays or Solutions

There are several antibacterial sprays now available on shelves, both imported and local, that should be available in each household to avoid spread of flu, germs and other viral from one person to another. The local surface cleaners by companies like Dettol can also work for cleaning floors and furniture if antibacterials are not available. Use of such sprays can prevent spread of flu from one family member to another and work in replacement of sanitizers.

Basic Toiletries

Personal hygiene is one of the most significant aspects of controlling the Corona-virus and thus, focus should not be only on storing food supplies but basic supplies that cover the personal hygiene. Some of the basic toiletries include

  • Hair shampoos and Conditioners
  • Toothpastes
  • Shavers
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Sanitary products for women
  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Baby diapers, wipes and creams
  • Laundry Detergents

Again, you need to check your stock levels first before rushing to market for purchasing and stocking these items. These basic toiletries should be available to cover you for one month including any unexpected two weeks of quarantine.

Prepare an isolated room or space for work, study, and exercise

As the Corona-virus spreads in Pakistan, we are witnessing shut down of educational institutes as well as recreational centers including gyms, pools, sports facilities, libraries and parks. The kids and some adults are expected to stay home and study and work from home. Even big corporations are conducting meetings to evaluate systems that can enable employees to work from home wherever possible. This, however, brings with it an issue of lack of discipline at homes for both kids and adults which is quite evident from our routine during summer vacations each year. In order to establish some discipline at home to avoid disruption in studies of kids or office work of adults, you should dedicate a specific area in your house as ‘Work Station’. The work station should have a proper setup of computer, table and chair, books and stationary to avoid disruption in studies and job.

Make Sure you have an Entertainment System in Place

Apart from these basic necessities, make sure to prepare yourself for the boredom and mental despair that can hit your family members specifically kids when outer activities are restricted for coming few weeks. Arrange books, board games, Netflix and YouTube to relieve some anxiety at home till the world fights this pandemic.

You can also read about the 12 Most Common Myths about Corona Virus as busted by WHO


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