How to Stock Your Medicine Cabinet Just in Case
You don’t have to buy out the pharmacy — but if you become ill, you’ll be glad you kept these supplies stocked
With more than 200,000 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the U.S., and widespread shelter-in-place orders, you may be thinking: What will I do if I get sick?
Short answer: You’ll probably be toughing it out at home, in quarantine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of people infected will have mild-to-moderate disease, which means that most of us will be treating ourselves. Still, “moderate illness can make you feel pretty funny. You can still get quite sick, and this infection may drag out,” says Sandra Kesh, MD, deputy medical director at Westmed Medical Group in Purchase, New York. “I recommend letting yourself recover and rest and not push yourself to bounce back,” she adds.
So, while the drive to prep by buying pounds and pounds of dried beans didn’t make total sense, an effort to have medicine on hand does. “You should be prepared to stay at home and be comfortable without having to get supplies from the outside,” says David Cennimo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Here’s what you’ll need — without going overboard:
Stock these supplies
A thermometer. Fever is one of the main symptoms of Covid-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you don’t have a thermometer — and many people don’t, says Cennimo — an inexpensive one will do. “Any thermometer that you know how to operate should be fine. Mine is a $5 digital one that I bought at the pharmacy near the hospital years ago,” he says. Watch for temperature that rises above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which signals a fever.
OTC fever reducer. Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which can increase comfort by reducing fever and lessening body aches. There has been back-and-forth about whether or not ibuprofen can actually worsen the disease, but this has not borne out and there isn’t enough evidence to say that it does, says the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). “I have no problem with using acetaminophen, but I cannot come out against ibuprofen…