What do you need in preparation for the coronavirus

Coronavirus Watch

(WEHT)– With people preparing for the worst, store shelves are emptying left and right.
But what exactly should people be buying to get prepared for the pandemic?

We spoke with a local public health and one of the things she mentioned was a surplus of toilet paper and facemasks aren’t going to be beneficial when it comes down to it. But certain foods, cleaning products, and medicine is more realistic.

Empty shelves are a sign people are getting ready just in case the coronavirus hits their home. But what exactly should people be buying?

We got the dos and don’ts from a local public health expert. One thing on her list…

“Facemasks are definitely not recommended. They’re only effective if you have the virus so you’re not spreading it to others,” Dr. Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi says.

Doctor Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi says food is an obvious necessity but what should end up in your cart?

“Right now is the time to really boost the immune system. So you want to eat nourishing foods and drink nourishing beverages,” Patel-Dovlatabadi explains.

Some stores have been cleaned out of things like cleaning wipes, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. She says cleaning hard surfaces is essential to remaining healthy.
“It can live on various types of surfaces such as glass and metal from two hours to as long as nine days,” she continues.

But what if you go to the store and can’t get that hand sanitizer. The world health organization has a recipe to make your own at home. It’s three parts rubbing alcohol of at least sixty percent and one part aloe vera. But that doesn’t replace the need to use soap and water.

“Handwashing is always more recommended than hand sanitizer now if you’re not able to wash your hands then you can use hand sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria as well as some viruses so if handwashing is not an option then hand sanitizer can be used,” she says.

The difference between this virus and others is the uncertainty because it’s so new.

“But this specific strain is brand new so we don’t know much about it we don’t know how it’s going to evolve and it’s very dynamic. We don’t know the course it’s going to take,” Patel-Dovlatabadi says.

She says the most important thing is to wash your hands with soap and water make sure you don’t panic. Get prepared but stay calm.

Right now, there are not any confirmed cases of coronavirus in our Tri-State area.
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(This story was originally published on March 12, 2020)

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