Dr. Sneha Sharma
Any crisis causes a chaos. Very few are adequately equipped to face a crisis at any time in their life. To keep this chaos and disarrangement to the minimum, one always needs to have sufficient essentials to keep one going in times like these. We may not have been prepared. But, better late than never!
We can focus on what all necessary things to have at our disposal. Considering the lockdown, materialistic things will have to be cautiously and sparingly obtained and used. Our resource accumulation must not be a cause of another’s deficiency. So what are those we must have?
- Medicines: Most of the people are taking some or the other medicine on a regular basis or at least very frequently. During curfew, seeking regular physical consultation may not always be possible. So we must have a comprehensive list of the medicines we need to keep for regular ailments, chronic conditions and milder emergencies.
Let’s have a list of regular ones then: Drugs reducing gastric acid (Antacids/prazoles/ tidines/ sucralfate etc), reducing vomiting (ondansetron/ domperidone etc), milder pain medications for headache or bodyache ( paracetamol/ ibuprofen/ with muscle relaxant activities etc), drugs for fever (paracetamol), anti-diarrhoeals (rifaximin/ floxacins and nidazoles), laxatives, regular antibiotics (Azithromycin/ Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid/ cephalosporins etc), cough syrup (preferably without codeine), anti-allergics (fexofenadine/ monteleukast/ cetrizines etc), antibiotic ointments like soframycin/ clindamycin, dettol/ savlon, gauze pieces/ bandaids for minor injuries.
For those with chronic illness like diabetes, asthma, hypothyroidism: stock of your medicines as prescribed.
As needed, one may keep eye drops, nasal drops, mouthwash as well.
Oh! And don’t forget some tissues papers (coughing/sneezing in it, remember!).
Have a month’s stock of the basic as well as specifically prescribed drugs. This much is for keeping with you. But DON’T FORGET TO CALL UP YOUR DOCTOR AND THEN ONLY TAKE WHICHEVER IS SUGGESTED.
- Emergency contacts: Please save on your phone the emergency helpline numbers, your doctors’ numbers, nearby hospital contact, ambulance services contacts, close family and friends’ numbers to be able to contact immediately whenever need be.
- Ration supply: Vegetables, milk and dairy products, rice, pulses, oil, eggs are available in the local groceries even in lockdown. So please don’t stock up crazy amount of grocery. Do a basic calculation of how much of which item you’ll need in a fortnight, make a list and buy that much only. For vegetables or meat/fish/chicken, stocking up for a fortnight is not feasible. So, keep one day in a week to fetch those. Follow the basic washing and sanitization protocols before and after.
- Cleaning tools and items: Make a list and buy. They should be sufficient to keep your home and items clean for a month and not more. There must be adequate number of garbage disposal bags for dry and wet waste. Collect the garbage in them and put them in the community trash-bins or Government garbage vans. Keep two separate clothes to clean the doorknobs/ gates/ windows/ those coming in contact with outside.
- Clothes: Any that you wear should be clean. There’s no need to bother yourself over ironing and dry-cleaning at this point. Clean at home with hands or a washing machine. Dry in the sun and wear them.
- Personal use items: Pens, books, diaries, laptop, earphones/ headphones and anything that you regularly use. Keep them clean and organized so you can find what you need without much trouble. Items of personal use include the items you need for extracurricular activities too. If you don’t have anything at hand right now, don’t go buy it. Rather make do with other things you have. Anything that comes in contact with outside should be sanitized.
And last but not the least, have courage and optimism in yourself too!
This article was written by Dr. Sneha Sharma (MBBS, MD- Psychiatry and Deaddiction); currently working as Consultant Psychiatrist at Tualsi Healthcare, Delhi.