Next to the Coronavirus pandemic itself, toilet paper shortages have been one of the biggest crises making news headlines. Unfortunately, panic-buying is fueling unnecessary anxiety and fear in our communities and on social media. What do college students need to buy to handle the pandemic (and a situation almost as scary - being stuck at home)?
1. SKIP: Hoarding.
Public health officials recommend a maximum supply of 30 days’ worth of essentials, like food, cleaning supplies, and medicine. Don’t fall into the trap of stockpiling items that you won’t need, which will only hurt your wallet and others in need. We’re betting that you know exactly how much ramen noodles you need to get through the next month.
2. STOCK: Over-the-counter meds.
The only time that you won’t be in the mood for a Target run: if you come down with the virus, flu, or a cold. Most importantly, it could be dangerous to ignore self-isolation recommendations. All demographics are at risk – college students are getting sick, too. Be prepared with some Tylenol, soup, tissues, etc. before you get sick and bring it to the store. Also, grab some Pedialyte if you want to keep your immune system up and hydrated (or if you’re still partying at home).
3. SKIP: Toilet paper.
In middle school, you might’ve bought loads of toilet paper to teepee a frenemy’s house. Times have changed (a lot), and now it is clear that there’s no good reason to buy 10 bulk packs of toilet paper – not even the pandemic. Just stick to your usual six pack to get you through.
4. STOCK: Self-care supplies.
Set up a little escape in your own home. After a few days or weeks of being cooped up at home, tensions and stress might flare up (especially if you’ve been away at college and haven’t been around your family 24/7 in a while). Add a bottle of wine, a new candle, or some other treat to your cart for a rainy day.
5. SKIP: Masks.
Healthcare professionals are urging the public to stop buying masks, as they are necessary for frontline medical workers. Many college students are especially compassionate to hourly workers and others sacrificing their safety to continue working during the crisis. Instead of stockpiling medical supplies, stock up on gift cards to your favorite local restaurants to help them get through this. Plenty of restaurants are donating meals to hospitals and their staff and could use your support right now.
6. STOCK: Something screenless.
Quarantine at home is all fun and games until you realize you don’t have any fun or games. At first, the hours-long (or days-long…mind your business) Netflix binges might be all you needed. But after you finish Tiger King and the new season of Ozark, ditch the screens for something different! Here’s Amazon’s best seller lists of board games and books.
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