There are certain things you just don’t need to stock up on. You’ve seen the grocery store shelves. Half of the lanes are bare and the other half haven’t been touched. Aisles that wouldn’t usually be visited on your average trip are stripped – not even dust is left. We have resorted to a mass panic, hoarding anything in sight we assume we may end up having to go without. Our mass-shopping hysteria is only adding to the pandemic panic.

There will be enough for everyone. Employees are working hard to restock shelves. There is no need for fist fights in the middle of a superstore over paper towels or face masks – if you can find them. If you’re going to stock up on items, make sure they are absolutely necessary. No one needs 500 rolls of toilet paper. We understand that certain people have certain needs for their own health requirements. But for the general public, here are five items you do not need to stock up on. And five items you should.

Five things you don’t need to stock up on (or hoard)

The items below are missing from the shelves and, well, half of the country is pretty confused as to why. These items listed are, yes important, but aren’t necessarily what you should stock up on. Purchase a little more than you normally would, sure, but leave some for others, too. We all need to be healthy and clean to make this work.

  1. Toilet paper – there will be enough for everyone, but we should stop hoarding this item. The stark absence of toilet paper in stores has only fueled the panic like throwing gas onto a bonfire.
  2. Face masks – N95 respirators are the only face masks that seem to work against the coronavirus. However, those very same masks are running low at doctor’s offices and hospitals. In addition, certain citizens need face masks for other illnesses and the lack of any masks on the shelves endangers them as well.
  3. Hand soap – we all need hand soap. So, yes, buy a little more of this product since we’re washing our hands more often. However, we need to be sure the rest of our community has enough so they, too, can practice this good hygiene.
  4. Certain cleaning supplies – bleach is great. Stock up on bleach and your usual cleaners. But don’t go overboard with the fancy wipes and a hundred bottles of hand sanitizers. Bleach and soap will work perfectly fine. Have a few hand sanitizers handy if you have to go out, but don’t go too overboard. Some grocery stores removed their complimentary wipes because too many customers were stealing them.
  5. Air filters – some people have been recommended to purchase humidifiers or HEPA filters to reduce the possible transmission of the virus, but chances are, they won’t really work. Not to mention, they’re on the pricey side. Most filters aren’t designed to fully protect us from and kill those viruses. So, save your money for what you really need to stock up on.

5 things you probably should consider buying

A lot of these items have been wiped off the shelves already. However, shoppers still seem to be too focused on paper products to realize that these necessities are being restocked a lot sooner. These are the items you should be on the lookout for.

  1. Water and beverages – keeping hydrated is such a huge piece of trying to fight off any illness. Stock up on water, juices, any kind of power drinks with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Teas (iced or in teabags) are also great to have around – not just for their healthy properties, but for their comfort.
  2. Canned food – soups, canned meat, canned fish, canned fruits and veggies. Soups are great comfort food and canned meat/fish can be used for various types of meals such as salads (if you can find lettuce) and sandwiches.
  3. Bread – this is a great sources of fibre and can be frozen. Make sure you have a good amount of bread at home and freeze what you don’t need just yet. Many of us know that the first thing we rush to the store for before a snowstorm is bread (followed by milk and eggs). This is just the same.
  4. Ingredients to make big meals to freeze – you can’t freeze eggs or cheese, but if you take time to make those big meals to freeze for later, you don’t have to worry about running to the store when that craving for baked mac ‘n cheese hits. It also makes meal prepping that much easier later on. Try to make three or four meals to freeze (if you have the room).
  5. Medication and first-aid tools – this goes without saying. If you can, stock up on vitamins, ibuprofen, any kind of medication you’re able to take to help combat against illnesses. Should you start feeling ill, make sure you have a thermometer and something to help combat the symptoms and fevers.

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Samantha Curreli
Samantha Curreli is a staff writer at Reach Out Recovery. Sam is also a graduate of Arcadia University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and a freelance journalist for New Jersey music magazine, The Aquarian Weekly. She has had multiple pieces of fiction published in literary magazines and short story anthologies.

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