COVID-19 Day 1: Sensible COVID19 Prepping

Panic buying at Costco

Panic buying at COSTCO

My advice to my neighbors is DO NOT start panic buying toilet paper or hand sanitizer or paying price-gouging prices for them. But while you are healthy, start stocking up now in a sensible and practical way.

The bad news is that as of today, we are only at the start of probably 4-8 more weeks of worsening outbreak in the US.

The good news is that you and your kids will survive with only mild flu-like symptoms (evidence from Europe and Asia bear this out) but the nationwide panic and disruption to trade and transportation will mean our store shelves will be thinner than normal (but not completely bare).

The hard truth is that current models predict a greater than 50% population infection rate US metropolitan areas. Plan as if you were sick in bed for a minimum of 2 weeks (perhaps up to 8 weeks if you have storage space.)


  • Cold Medicine
    Pain reliever, decongestant, etc. for treating symptoms of COVID19
  • Comfort Food
    Soup and easily prepared comfort food (ramen and mac-n-cheese y’all)
  • Bleach
    Rubbing Alcohol as mostly out of stock everywhere, so instead buy cheap laundry bleach (regular unscented 5%) and dilute it to create hand and surface sanitizer. Mix 1 cup of water water with 5 gallons of bleach.
  • Diapers and Formula
    If you have young children or infants, you should stock up. The good news is that data shows that COVID19 is no more deadly than the flu to children and young adults.
  • Pads and Tampons
    Best to keep a 2-3 month supply on hand at all times. They can also be used as emergency bandages in a pinch.
  • Paper Towels and Wipes
    Can be used in conjunction with DIY chlorine sanitizer to make disinfecting wipes or as TP if needed. Napkins may be more available and are good substitute.
  • Gas
    Keep your car gas tank at least 1/2 full at all times. In case of a real SHTF situation where you need to evacuate, you should have enough gas to get you out of the city, because the local gas stations will have long lines or be completely empty.

THINGS PROBABLY SOLD OUT (but don’t stress)

  • Toilet paper
    Unless you do not enough rolls to last you 2 weeks. COVID19 symptoms do not include diarrhea.
  • Bottled water
    COVID19 is not a water transmitted virus. Your tap water will be safe to drink throughout this outbreak, unless the city’s power goes out and if that happens, well then all bets are off. You should already have bottled water on hand for emergency (2-week supply is the recommended minimum for natural disasters).
  • Alcohol hand sanitizer (see above for alternative DIY recipe).
    COVID19 is an airborne contagion. There is very little documented evidence of infection spread from touching an infected surface and touching your face, despite media focus on it. You can mix your own using common laundry bleach each day.
  • N95 or Surgical Masks
    Face masks are also out of stock. DIY and make reusable cloth masks out of old 100% cotton t-shirts.These DIY masks are the best means to prevent infecting other family members, co-workers, and neighbors. If you start to feel mild symptoms of a cold, don’t wait for test results, assume you are infected and act accordingly immediately and put on a mask. Most importantly, swap out your mask every 2-3 hours. Soak soiled masks in our bleach solution and dry them out in direct sunlight to sanitize.


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