Care for your family at home if a virus hits your house, with this checklist of natural and common sense items:
You keep bandages at home in case of a scraped knee or cut finger, right? So why should having supplies at home for a viral infection be any different?
The latest coronavirus ( covid-19 ) is no joke. It’s not “just the flu.” It is considered a pandemic with serious consequences, especially for vulnerable populations (if you are pregnant, have a baby/toddler, or an immune-compromised family, you are considered high risk). But even influenza is worth having some supplies in advance for!
Keep reading for a simple Coronavirus Checklist – or go here for a printable copy.
While we should be thankful for western medicine, functional medicine (AKA a natural, preventative health approach) is also hugely beneficial. And since the majority of people are more likely to get mild to moderate symptoms of the latest viruses, let’s dive into what simple supplies you can stock up on to get through it from the comfort of home.
Disclaimer: Please go to the doctor or a hospital if your symptoms get too severe to be treated at home!
PS: For more insight and daily updates into the spread of Coronavirus, we’ve been following Chris Martenson at peakprosperity.com, who has a PhD in Pathological Biology (specializing in Toxicology).
But first, some common sense:
1. Wash your hands often! (Like, REALLY wash them!)
2. Teach your kids to wash their hands often and properly.
3. Disinfect your cellphone regularly (you know, that thing you are always touching, setting down on surfaces, taking into the bathroom with you, and holding up to your face!)
A Coronavirus Home Care Checklist for Moms (or any respiratory illness)
To protect against respiratory viruses, Vitamin D3 is king.
“Vitamin D — the ‘sunshine vitamin’ — is thought to protect against respiratory infections by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides — natural antibiotic-like substances — in the lungs.”see research study
Double blind studies have shown that elderberry syrup can cut the length of influenza in half (see here and here as well as here). You take it at the first sign of symptoms. While there haven’t been studies using it specifically for Covid-19 , it would still be my first go-to option out of all the natural immune booster remedies on the market. Plus it’s safe for kids and when pregnant or breastfeeding!
Water on its own isn’t enough if you get dehydrated, so stock up on something with electrolytes. There are your classic Gatorade or sport-drink beverages, but if you are looking for something more natural or without the artificial dyes, try unsweetened coconut water, unsweetened aloe vera juice or clear Pedialyte.
High Nutrition, Shelf Stable Foods
There is nothing worse than everyone in your family getting sick at the same time… so think about having simple, nutritious food options already at home. When sick, you want to focus on fresh produce – for all those great vitamins! The best way to get this in shelf stable form is freeze dried. This way there are no added salts/preservatives, the food keeps the nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants (unlike dehydrated food, which kills nutrition due to the heat applied in the drying process). I talk about my love affair with freeze dried food in this blog series. Or you can read more reasons about why I value having a quality emergency food supply right here.
Even just stocking up on simple snacks like freeze dried strawberries, blueberries or broccoli (all high in Vitamin C, strawberries being the highest) can be very helpful! And kids love them! The freeze dried produce I buy has a one year shelf life once the cans are open, or a 25 year shelf life unopened. Check out this list of homemade trail mix ideas using freeze dried foods.
Even More Fruits and Veggies!
Did you know that studies show that to be healthiest, it is best to get 10 servings (roughly 1/2 cup each) of whole fruits and vegetables in every day? And only 10% of adults are getting there. (See a selection of research studies on the benefits of Fruits and Veggies here). The key is to be doing this on a regular basis (while also cutting out processed sugars and high preservative foods), so that your immune system is in better working condition before you get sick. My new go-to to help me get there is Ruvi, which gives you 4 of these 10 servings. My kids like it too!
Ruvi, like what I discussed in my previous point, is freeze dried fruit and veg – but powdered down so you can conveniently take it like a beverage or smoothie by just adding water. It includes all the fiber, and retains way more antioxidants and phytonutrients than grocery store produce, juices, or drum dried/dehydrated powders.
This is a stat the company released about their Ruvi product, and I believe them since I’ve felt the difference in my body. I have been drinking it almost every day this winter and have had my healthiest winter in years (despite being pregnant and now having two kids in school bringing home germs!)
You can learn more about my Ruvi experience while pregnant in this video, or follow my affiliate link – goruvi.bestmomhack.com – to learn more about it (yes I earn some commission from this product – thanks for supporting my blog!)
DIY Cough Syrup
I always try to feel better with natural remedies before reaching for drugstore cough remedies. I love this DIY Cough Syrup from the blog Barefoot in the Kitchen. The ingredients are super simple!
A Couple Useful Essential Oils
I’m no EO guru, but there are two essential oil blends I like to have on hand whenever we are coming down with something. I use doTERRA brand because I am comfortable with the purity of the oils and their environmental practices. (I don’t sell it – ask on Facebook for a knowledgeable, reliable rep near you).
OnGuard (Protective Blend)
This one has anti-viral properties (see research study). It can be diffused to help kill germs in the air, or if you are comfortable with this, can be ingested or rolled on the body in diluted form for immune-boosting effects. For those wondering about the Eucalyptus in this blend (certain types of Eucalyptus can be unsafe for small children), Doterra uses Eucalyptus Radiata, the safer form for children.
Breathe/Easy Air Blend
I like diffusing this one to clear up stuffy noses! I find it quite strong, so I only need a small amount if I am running the diffuser in my room overnight. And for kids, I prefer to use a roller ball on their chest of this diluted, instead of filling their room with something diffused into the air (they sleep with doors closed so it could get too strong smelling). You can also make a shower spray for this. Spray it into the air away from you and inhale while you are in the shower to take advantage of the steam!
This is another one that is flying off the shelves. We got a large bottle, plus smaller ones to throw in the car, purses, etc. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to keep your hands moisturized too. Handwashing with soap is always a better option – but I feel better having hand sanitizer too for when you can’t get to a sink.
Face Masks / Physical Barriers
Yes, I have to include this on the list! Face masks are most beneficial when worn by the person who is sick. But anyone with a compromised immune system who is travelling by train, bus or airplane through an area with an outbreak should also consider wearing a face mask that seals tightly to their face.
If you are the person caring for a very sick family member who is confined to their room to prevent the spread, you’ll want to wear one too – along with goggles and medical gloves.
Extra Cleaning Supplies & Toiletries
You will be doing a lot more laundry and sanitizing with a virus going through your house! Consider stocking up on extra laundry detergent, dish soap and germ-killing cleaning products. You may also want extra toiletries – toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, etc.
If disinfecting with bleach, here are some important things to know:
1. You need to buy disinfecting bleach (regular bleach just deodorizes).
2. It lasts about 6 months from the packaging date before expiring.
To know the packaging (and thus the expiry) date, look for a series of 5 digits on the bottle. The first 2 are the year, the next three are the day. So in this photo, 2016 is the year, 111 days into the year (April 22). So six months after April 22 (in October) was when this bottle expired.
3. Add it to a spray bottle and dilute with water. Do NOT mix with vinegar (or any acid) unless you want to die a heck of a lot faster than from catching coronavirus.
Disinfecting Wipes are handy to have too! Thank you to my reader Kathi for sharing this photo with me of the brand she uses – it lists coronavirus as something it kills (presumably earlier versions of coronavirus though, but still a good starting point). Wear gloves when using chemical-based disinfectants!
Don’t write off natural cleaning options!
Many natural cleaners are great for disinfecting as well (eg EO based Thieves or OnGuard cleaner – see research study), and they are gentler on your respiratory system. For regular, daily use, I greatly prefer natural sanitizing and degreasing options!
What do you think of this list? What else do you like having at home to prepare for cold, flu or whatever else could be swirling around? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!