03-13-2020 Healthcare

How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Outbreak

How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Outbreak

COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, is a respiratory disease that is now a global pandemic. There is still a lot that is unknown about coronavirus, which leads to feelings of worry and panic. One of the most important things you can do to reduce panic and stress is to be prepared. Here are some tips to make sure you have enough medications and supplies on hand in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in your community.

Fill Your Prescriptions

If you’re running low on your prescription medications, now is the time to fill them. You’ll want to have a supply in the event you have to be isolated due to a coronavirus outbreak. You want to have a 30 to 60-day supply on hand. You can even ask about switching to a 90-day supply, which can actually help you save money on your prescriptions in the long-term. If your insurance doesn’t cover 90-day prescriptions or early refill requests, ask your doctor about a quantity exempt form. You can also choose to pay out of pocket. If you need to pay out of pocket for your prescriptions, double check that you’re paying the lowest price.

Purchase Over-the-Counter Drugs for Mild Symptoms

Stock up on over-the-counter medications in the event you or someone in your household has coronavirus. For mild cases, over-the-counter drugs can help to manage symptoms such as fever, body aches, and cough. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen and cough suppressants can help you feel more comfortable. Fluids with electrolytes and vitamins can also help in mild cases of COVID-19.

Keep Extra Medicine and Supplies on Hand

If you take a lifesaving medication, you should always be prepared in the event of an emergency, including a coronavirus outbreak. Those with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are at a greater risk of severe illness. It’s critical to keep at least 30 days of medications and supplies in your home. Don’t assume delivery services will be available in your area.

In addition, many of the raw materials used in medications come from China, where COVID-19 started. During the outbreak, many facilities in China are on lockdown. Pharmaceutical manufacturers do stockpile some supplies in the United States, but it’s important to make sure you have enough supplies on hand.

If you don’t already have an emergency kit, make one. The American Red Cross has a helpful list of supplies to include in your kit.

Stocking up on medications and supplies is important. However, you should also make sure you have plenty of food and water in your household if you are isolated. Dried or canned goods, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables, are great essentials to keep on hand.

Additional Tips to Prevent Coronavirus

In addition to preparing for an outbreak, there are things you can do to help prevent coronavirus. These tips can help to reduce the rate of COVID-19 and the impact on the US healthcare system.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with other people.
  • Avoid crowds if possible, especially if you are over the age of 60.
  • Do not go to work or school if you have symptoms or feel sick. Isolation is one way to curb the rate of an epidemic.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect frequently used surfaces and countertops.
  • Stay healthy. Exercise at home and eat nutritious foods.

Again, planning is the most effective response to a pandemic like COVID-19. Make sure you have important supplies in the event you have to be quarantined. If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus or think you have been exposed, call your doctor right away.

For more information on COVID-19, look to trusted resources like World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control.