Preparing the Household for COVID-19

March 13, 2020

I’m here to share some preparations our household is making as the coronavirus continues to spread, in the hopes that it will be useful for people preparing their own households.

We are trying to have at least 2 months of food, supplements, sanitation/disinfection supplies, medicinal supplies, and protocols in place.

Disclaimer: None of us are professionals in any of the relevant fields. This is all simply what we consider reasonable as far as preparing our own household. Questions and suggestions are welcome.

Here is a spreadsheet with more in-depth information. It is set so that you can only view, but that will allow you to copy and paste the entire spreadsheet into a blank one for yourself, and change values like # Weeks or # People, which will change the amounts accordingly.

Lifestyle Changes: 

Because everyone in my family is in the position of being able to work from home, we’re strongly considering reducing all social exposure for the next few weeks, while being prepared for a situation to need to do that for up to two months+

Food Preparation:

I’ve gone ahead and simplified it here to show just the items and amounts that would be purchased for 1 person to last 8 weeks. Most of the food is non-perishable, and it is all calculated to meet a 2,000 calories per day model.

The bottom part of the list from Green Tea to Soy Sauce are just some items we’d like to have on top of what we consider the essentials.

Food prep 1 Person 8 Weeks

Nutritional Supplement Preparation (More Preventative):

Supplements 1 Person 8 Weeks

Sanitation Preparation (for 1 person, 8 weeks):

95% Ethyl Alcohol – 250 mL (google how to make homemade hand sanitizer using Ethyl Alcohol).

Small and Large Spray Bottles (e.g. 2 small, 1 large).

Nitrile Gloves (pack of 50)

Copper Foil Tape (Amazon Link) to cover high-touch surfaces (handles, doorknobs, light switches, outside of phone cases) with copper foil. Here’s a link to one science paper: Copper Alloy Touch Surfaces in Healthcare Facilities: An Effective Solution to Prevent Bacterial Spreading

Basic Household goods like paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, etc. for as long as you would need.

Medicinal Preparation:

Tylenol (Acetaminophen)

Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) is no longer recommended to treat symptoms.




Pulse Oximeter (Since COVID-19 is a disease with significant respiratory involvement, and that’s the pathway by which it usually kills, you’ll want to go to the hospital if you’re having trouble breathing, and your blood oxygen levels are consistently below ~90-94% (for people at sea level), while you are using the pulse oximeter as directed. (Brief dips should generally not worry you, due to normal fluctuations and the imperfection of the measurement.)*

*I’ve heard that it’s easy for access to this blood oxygen level information to cause people to over diagnose themselves, so if you think you might be susceptible to that, it would be better to rely on how your body feels, for example if you found yourself consistently out of breath after going up the stairs.

Other things you’d like to have on hand that make you feel better when sick, ie cough drops, soup, tea, clear liquids.


Getting Sick Protocols

In our household, we’ve set up a plan for how to respond to any of us getting sick. In any case of any family member getting sick, they will always be taken care of by the family member who is least at risk themselves.

That means, that if one of my parents get sick, either me or my brother will be taking care of them no matter what. If me or my brother get sick, one of us will take care of the other while we quarantine ourselves from our parents as much as possible.

Delivering packages

We prefer to get packages delivered over going to stores. We’re trying to keep packages outside for at least 48 hours, and disinfecting them as we bring them into the house.

Here is a link to the CDC article on getting your household ready for COVID-19. Reference the section on creating a household plan of action, as there are more steps laid out there.