How many of us have had discussions with our spouse, children, parents, friends and colleagues over the last few weeks about Coronavirus? Probably the vast majority of us have found that we are talking about COVD-19 quite a bit. The end product to a lot of this talk has us feeling stressed. But having a plan if you need to stay home for 2-3 weeks helps to lessen the stress. Since the disease has many cases across the United States now, the virus seems a lot less remote.
You may be trying to research what is important to know about COVID-19 and sift through the information so you feel you are prepared for both yourself, your family and community. Once you have your information, you might feel that you are ill-prepared for a potential major disruption in your community that restricts your transportation, access to work, schools, libraries, entertainment, and more.
In Pennsylvania we have been through floods, Hurricane Sandy, the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks, and so much more, but generally these events did not entail preparation for the average family. But, as the possibility of my family and friends being stuck at home for a few weeks looms ahead it has started to feel like a potential reality that we should prepare for. After some research from the CDC, NIH, and Red Cross websites I’ve come up with what I believe are some good practices for our family and might be for yours. My biggest takeaway after seeing people hit the stores with multiple shopping carts; don’t buy anything that you wouldn’t normally eat, couldn’t use at a future date, or at least take camping.
You can tell my the shelves at your local grocery store that most people have much the same list they are shopping from; mostly nonperishables, such as pasta, rice, risotto, canned items, nuts, peanut butter, dried fruit, and some frozen foods. Keep in mind when you are shopping your capacity to store what you have bought and that you are preparing for 2-3 weeks, not months of staying at home! A few other good things to add to the list ar powdered milk, chicken and beef bouillon cubes, coffee, tea, flour, sugar, honey and possibly protein powder if you like making your own smoothies.
Some sweet snacks such as cookies, trail mix, chocolate bars and ice cream are great comfort foods to help ride out the stay at home. Most of us have cooking oil on hand, but be sure to have olive oil and remember that butter freezes well. If you have a dark place in your garage, root vegetables will keep with low moisture and no light for weeks; potatoes, onions, and carrots can all do well without refrigeration.
If you have the space in your refrigerator, you can add in perishable items like greens and fruit. Remember that fermented food items like yogurt and pickles store much longer along with cheese and eggs. Condiments can store nearly indefinitely; like mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, jams and such. Hard salami and jerky is great snack that can also be used in cooking and handy to have around.
If you have the freezer space, items such as meat, poultry can be stocked up on and when added to soups, pasta and risotto stretch a long way to feeding a family over days. Tofu has a good refrigerator life and can be substituted for meat in many recipes. It’s a great time to branch out in your recipe choices; be sure to check out all our wonderful recipes on our Tastealotta website.
Like with any life-changing event in our lives, it’s not the happy times when we see what we are made of, but the times in our lives that stretch us, try us, and demand change from us that show the true measure of who we are as individuals. So attitude and preparation are key, because what we realize when facing a situation such as the Coronavirus, is there is so much in this world we can’t control. So focus on the positive, be thankful for everything in your life, and prepare.
Focusing on the positive helps boost our immune system and can give us a better chance to combat any cold or virus. Lots of activities are still doable even though we might be having an extended stay at home:
Just a few ideas that can help pass the time, put a smile on your face, and bolster your immune system. Stay safe, be grateful and let’s support each other, so together we THRIVE, and keep cooking!