Customers trickled into the Save Mart on Plumb Avenue on a quiet Tuesday morning.
Customers trickled into the Save Mart on Plumb Avenue on a quiet Tuesday morning.

You’ve no doubt seen all of the jokes and the memes and the rants on social media about the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. There’s the one that says if you’ve used a punk rock venue’s bathroom, you’re immune. There’s the other about people seeking some lime to go with their coronavirus. Others joke about people making their own booze-based hand sanitizers after finding stores sold out—or panicking when the grocery store is out of toilet paper thanks to panic buyers.

They’re cheeky and snarky and offensive to some people. Others think they’re feeding an unnecessary amount of fear in the public. But they also do sort of beg a good question: How would you and your household fare if a quarantine situation became necessary. And before you laugh it off, consider that as of March 10 Italy had expanded its quarantine to the entire country as coronavirus cases and deaths surged. Though, as of press time, there were only two presumptive positive cases in Washoe County.

Here are some tips on what you should have on hand at home in the event of a quarantine.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an online guide to preparing one’s home for quarantine. It includes frequently asked questions for individuals and families, a shopping list, cleaning and disinfecting advice, what to do if someone in your home is ill and other advice.

According to the CDC, “From the data that are available for COVID-19 patients, and from data for related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it is possible that older adults and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more serious complications. Early data suggest older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or your household members are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications.”

If you live in a household with someone who could be at higher risk, the CDC recommends consulting with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

The CDC also recommends that if your neighborhood has a website or social media page, you consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information and resources.

When it comes to in-the-home precautions, making sure you have adequate supplies and knowing how to clean and disinfect is important. For cleaning, it means taking the time to regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks with household cleaners and disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. As far as supplies go, it means filling prescription medicines and buying an adequate supply of non-perishable foods to last your household for at least a few weeks.

But are households stocking up on the necessary items? Have any stores seen the rush the memes and social media posts are referencing?

At least at Save Mart stores in Washoe County, the answer is yes—on some products.

“We are seeing a higher demand for cleaning and personal hygiene products from our customers,” said Victoria Castro, public affairs manager. “We are working diligently with our vendors and suppliers to ensure the ongoing availability of products on our stores’ shelves.”

So long as people don’t panic buy enough to hoard supplies, though, Save Marts and other stores running out of stock shouldn’t be an issue in the county.

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