Must-Have Items for College Students During the Coronavirus Outbreak
March 30, 2020
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 epidemic has shaken up the lives of everyone, and college students who are stuck in dorms or on campus apartments are afraid of what to do and where to go. The idea of living through a global pandemic is one that very few people who are alive today have experienced. Bars, restaurants, libraries, and other public places have been shut down temporarily to slow the spread of the virus.
People are being told to self-isolate in order to slow the spread, and according to the CDC, people are told to also wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after being exposed somewhere outside of their homes. College students must get into the habit of doing that each time they leave their dorms. Additionally, it is essential to avoid touching the face and to stay 6 feet away from others. Social distancing is critical at this time and this is something that college students will struggle with. In fact, we have an entire post on how college students can stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.
However, it is essential that college students (and everyone else) self-quarantines and finds activities to do in their dorms. They must also have the supplies and necessities stocked up for the quarantine which are recommended by Ready.gov. We’ve even temporarily added these items to the top of every school’s packing list, given how critical they are. The items that college students must stock up on are:
1. Hand Sanitizer and Alcohol Wipes
This is an item that will be hard to find in pharmacies, grocery stores, and even on Amazon. However, it is important to grab them when they are found. They are not a replacement for hand washing, however, they help remove a lot of germs after being out of the dorm. Be sure to get the hand sanitizers that are composed of 60% alcohol. Wipes are also important to have on hand to wipe down grocery items and other items purchased at the time.
2. Toilet Paper
There are plenty of jokes about toilet paper rolls being out of stock all over social media. However, because these items are selling out fast, college students need to grab at least 2 cases at a time and quickly as well when they are grocery shopping. However, don’t hoard. There are others who are in the same boat so leave some for them.
3. Face Masks
It is important to have face masks on hand. They not only protect yourself from others, but stop you from getting yourself (by touching your face) and others sick. According to the CDC, if you are not sick or you are not caring for someone who is sick, it is not essential to wear a face mask.
But if you sense you may be sick, or if you are caring for someone who is sick, then you will want to wear face masks while going grocery shopping. It is important to have a supply in the dorm either way.
N95 masks are the gold standard, filtering out 95% of particles in the air. But given that they’re in such short supply, best to leave them for healthcare professionals who are most at risk. If you’re feeling unwell, surgical face masks will suffice.
4. Phone UV Sanitizer
Do you know how many germs your phone is filled with? Any student and anyone would be horrified to know. Mobile phones pick up all kinds of germs, including the COVID-19 virus, and re-contaminate your clean hands. This is why it is important that college students invest in a phone UV sanitizer that uses ultraviolet light waves to kill off the germs and disinfect your phone.
The reason a thermometer is needed does not need to be explained. If any of these students feel they are catching an illness, the first thing they need to do is to take their temperature. Fever, which is a temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher, is one of the symptoms associated with coronavirus.
6. Food and Water
Grocery stores will not close and neither will pharmacies. However, the fewer times that shopping trips are made in a week, the lower the chances are that you would catch the virus. Therefore, you will want to grab extra bottles of water, canned and frozen goods, and even perishables that can be frozen if necessary. Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system up.
7. Prescription and OTC medications
For college students that are on prescription medication will need to be on top of renewing their prescriptions. Pain relievers, vitamins, as well as fluids that contain electrolytes are other items to stock up on. However, it is important to ask the pharmacist about what type of OTC medications could potentially magnify COVID-19 symptoms if the situation occurred.
College students will be quite bored during the self-quarantine period, as anyone else would be understandably so. However, it is important to remember to self-isolate so that the virus can eventually disappear and then normal life will be resumed. It is unknown at this point how long the self-quarantines will need to go on, but the focus is to stay healthy and to keep others around healthy as well. Explore new apps, explore new websites, and it is a great thing to tap into the creative side and to clean and organize the dorm during this time. It will pass.