During the early stages of the Covid pandemic in the United States, citizens watched as the store shelves emptied of toilet paper, non-perishable foods, and valuable medical supplies. Items that generally stayed available on shelves all year-long suddenly disappeared at alarming rates. Now that things are back to normal, it’s a good time to grab those medical supplies while you still can.
As typical cold and flu season meets Covid, it’s expected that the number of those who are sick will increase. Whether you end up with Covid or not, chances are you will have some sickness this winter, but you don’t want to wait to get medical supplies. You never know when it’s too late.
My family has four kids, so you know that we will have several colds throughout the winter. Parents, now is the time to get prepared. I thought about the medical supplies I couldn’t find last spring and put together this list of medical items you should grab now before it’s too late.
1. Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
In April, my friend’s son was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and it was suggested that he take children’s ibuprofen to combat some of the signs. However, finding ibuprofen felt like searching for gold. We searched high and low, only finding a few bottles in our town.
Every parent went out, expecting their child to get sick, and bought up all of the children’s pain relievers and fever reducers that they could find. Not only were the shelves emptied of the children’s version, but the adult versions were gone as well.
I suggest grabbing at least one bottle per person in your family. For us, that means we need two bottles of the adult pill version and four bottles of children’s medication.
2. Elderberry Syrup
If you haven’t jumped on the elderberry syrup bandwagon, this is the year to do so, but stock up now before it’s too late. Taking elderberry syrup can help to reduce symptoms of season colds and help you feel better faster. Don’t we all want that?
Not only are elderberries beneficial when you’re sick, but they’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants that support your immune system. We know that taking elderberries can reduce inflammation, reduce stress, and protect your heart.
Related: How To Make Elderberry Syrup
3. Bandaids, Bandages, and Gauze
I’ll be honest; this one stumped me until I saw two women at the same time at Walmart creating, what it seemed to be, full first-aid kits. Part of me felt excitement – people finally saw the value in stockpiling first-aid supplies to take care of small issues at home.
The other side of me felt annoyed because – have you ever had a toddler – I needed bandaids, too! We all need to have a decent supply of these at home for cuts, bruises, and scrapes. Even a small, minor wound can become infected.
You might not think of bleach as a medical supply, but we have to keep things as clean as possible to prevent infections in an SHTF situation. During the initial Covid scare, bleach was MIA on store shelves. If you found a bottle, it felt like finding gold.
You don’t need to have a lot of bleach on hand, but I like to have a few bottles. Besides serious cleaning and whitening of our clothes occasionally, having a few bottles on hand is smart for bleaching medical equipment if serious issues arise.
5. Vitamin C
I swear by vitamin C when my family is sick, but sure enough, vitamin C capsules and gummies disappeared from the shelve last spring. Clinical trials are using vitamin C as a possible treatment for Covid, but no results have been shared.
Regardless, we know that vitamin C can help support your immune system, and as we enter this unknown cold and flu season, we all need the most robust immune systems possible.
6. Medical Masks
Masks were in serious shortage when the Coronavirus began. Medical professionals barely had enough to cover the hospitals and emergency service personnel, so the public had hardly any access to them.
You still cannot find N95 masks, but those should be saved for the front-line workers. Medical masks, the blue or white ones, are readily available but sold at double the price. While that’s unfortunate, having a box or two is valuable if someone gets sick in your home, or you need to take care of someone who is ill this winter.
7. Medical Gloves
Something else that can still be hard to find now but was impossible a few months ago is medical gloves. I don’t recommend wearing them when you go out in public; it’s too hard to use them properly. They still should be in your first aid kit. Why?
If someone in your house has an injury that you need to tend to, having medical gloves reduces bacteria’s spread. For example, if your spouse cuts his hand, but you cannot get to the hospital because of hazardous road conditions, wear gloves while you tend to the wound. It helps to reduce any chance of the injury becoming infected.
One of my favorite medicinal herbs to use when I get sick is echinacea. I like it so much that I grow a few echinacea plants in my herb garden. You can use capsules, herbal teas, and tinctures when you’re sick.
Taking echinacea when you have a cold can help reduce the length of a cold. Some studies show that you can reduce the duration by nearly two days. It’s worth keeping some on hand in case you do get sick this year.
9. Hand Sanitizers
You might not use hand sanitizer regularly, but having a bottle or two available is a smart idea, especially in your first aid kit. Remember, you want to be prepared for anything that comes your way, and if you need to treat a wound, your hands need to be clean.
10. Allergy Medication
I don’t know about you, but the fall and the spring bring allergy symptoms to my house. My husband and kids all have seasonal allergies, and it’s not uncommon to have runny noses and watery eyes for several weeks each year.
Covid hit right before the primary allergy season in our region. When I went to grab medicine for my miserable toddler with a runny nose, the shelves were almost empty. Parents went nuts and snatched up all of the allergy medicine available, mostly because they wanted to be prepared to treat the Coronavirus if they contracted the virus.
11. Cold & Sinus Medications
Everyone knows that Covid presents symptoms that are similar to typical colds and the flu. Hence, it’s natural that everyone wants to gather medication to treat those symptoms at home.
However, that means if you come down with a cold, you better have the medication at home. Right now, the shelves might have different options available, but when we are in the thick of the sick season, those shelves might not be full anymore.
That means you should grab medication that treats:
- Chest Congestion
- Sinus Congestion
- Runny Noses
- Sinus Pressure
- Mucus Production
12. Throat Sprays & Cough Drops
You guessed it – any medication that treats symptoms common to Coronavirus depleted during the initial weeks of the pandemic. People panicked and stockpiled all of the cough drops and throat sprays.
Yes, you can make your cough drops at home, but most prefer not to do so for the low cost you pay at the store. I suggest grabbing a few bags and storing them in your medicine cabinet. When you have a seasonal cold, your sore throat will thank you.
13. Hydrogen Peroxide
As I said earlier, people began to stockpile first aid supplies in the early weeks, and wound cleaning supplies disappeared fast. Many people like to use hydrogen peroxide to clean out wounds before applying antibiotic cream.
This might not be your first choice, but if you’re stockpiling items for an SHTF situation, you cannot risk developing an infection. If medical personnel or hospital services are unavailable, all of your wounds must be flushed out well to avoid an infection.
Infections left untreated kill, so be prepared to do everything you can to prevent it.
14. Rubbing Alcohol
Another item you can grab is rubbing alcohol. When hand sanitizer disappeared from the shelves, people turned to DIY hand sanitizer recipes, which used rubbing alcohol. However, you still might want to have some on hand for wound disinfecting.
Stockpile Now Before It’s Too Late
Before we enter the main cold and flu season, it’s best to stockpile all of the medical supplies while you still can. If Covid and the rest of the illnesses worsen this winter, you want to be prepared to take on whatever comes your way. Make sure you get that medicine cabinet stocked!