Friday, 13 March 2020

The practical guide to Corona virus self isolation

I had an interesting conversation yesterday regarding what would happen if I contracted Corona virus and had to self isolate. I said that there would be many elements of it that would actually be quite pleasant. I really need to get some serious guitar practice and songwriting in. I have work to do on my home studio and there is a huge backlog of albums I would like to revisit. I would also like to catalogue my vinyl collection. I've got a few books that need to be read.  I can also still blog from my sickbed!

When I woke up this morning, I had a chuckle about the conversation, then I thought that as the government has advised that if we get symptoms of cold or flu, we should self isolate for seven days, In practical terms, what does this mean and what precautions should I take? We are all aware of the approach that seems to be prevalent. Some  people have six months worth of toilet rolls, tins of tomatoes and pasta. It is clear that this hasn't been thought through. In seven days it is unlikely that there will be a shortage of any of these things. So if you wake up tomorrow with a temperature and the flu, what sensible things should you have in the cupboard? Lets think this through. If you are a feeling awful, do you really want to be opening tins of tomatoes and boiling pasta for ten minutes? So you might want to consider these points. Please bear in mind, these are not official guidelines, just my own personal ideas, having thought about the issue.

Food and drink

First of all, most of us eat three meals a day. Lets start with drinks. A large box of tea bags and enough coffee for ten days  should see you through. I don't do dairy but if you do, a large fresh milk  (which you'd probably have anyway) and a couple of long life milks should do. Some fresh fruit juice and some squash would be a good idea, as would a few energy drinks in case you feel really low.  Don't buy a thousand, just enough to get you through. As for alcohol. For much of the time, you are likely to feel OK, so get a few bottles of wine, or cans of lager etc. If you are sitting in on your own, this will help you get through. A few bottles of water would be sensible. If you are on your own and are feeling to rough to get out of bed, this will keep you hydrated that is important. You may also want to make sure that you have enough sugar to see you through. I have lemon in tea, so that is another consideration.

If you like cereals or porridge, a box should see you through. Get a loaf and a spare and freeze it. Toast is a great food when you are ill. You may want to make sure you have a dozen eggs. They are a healthy and nutritious breakfast on toast. Make sure you have enough salt and pepper for a week. Make sure you have cheese, butter or other suitable spreads

A few tins of fruit is a good investment, as well as some fresh fruit that will last the first  3/4 days.

Lunch & Dinner
Again consider that you may not feel like cooking. I'd suggest getting at least 3/4 days worth of microwaveable ready meals, to tide you through when you are feeling worst. Get a selection of different meals, so that you don't get bored. A large bag of rice and a large bag of pasta is a good idea as a fall back position, as well as a few tins of tuna, and a bag  of frozen chicken and some veg. Make sure you have stock cubes, spices and herbs. I would also get some tins of soup in stock. be sensible, if you buy 100 tins you are unlikely to use them, get enough to see you through the self isolation period. It is well worth having a bag of large potatoes and some suitable jacket potato fillings. A quick check that there is enough cooking oil is worth doing

When we feel ill, often we don't feel like eating much. A few bars of chocolate, biscuits and other suitable snacks are worth having. Dried fruits are a great source of sugar and vitamins when you are feeling low.

Personal hygiene

Do you have enough shampoo/soap/toilet rolls/toothpaste/deodorant etc

If you have prescription medicine, check that you have enough, this is vital.
I would recommend paracetamol, Lemsips (other brands are avaiable), ibuprofen, etc. Also if you need any skin care products etc

So here is my self isolation check list. Work out how much you need for seven days. Please be considerate, you don't need a six months supply.  Think what things you can't do without. Just make sure you've got enough for the isolation period. Buy things that you would use anyway.

Energy drinks
Bottle water
Milk/Milk substitute

Fruit (fresh and dried_
Microwave meals
Tinned soup
Tinned meat/fish
Frozen meat/fish
Chocolate bars
Easy prepare foods
Cooking oil

Personal hygene
Hand wipes
Toilet rolls

Prescription drugs
Pain killers and anti inflammatories
Skin care products
Hand wipes


Please make sure you have enough  pet food for animals in your care for the period.

If the worst happens, you will have time on your hands. Why not nip out and get a couple of books. If you don't read them now, they do not go off

One final point. If you are a dog owner and they need walks, so long as you are not feverish, take them out late at night and avoid other people. Take hand wipes and clean anything you have to touch after.

There are also a lot of films I'd like to watch. I thought I'd end with a couple of suitable clips that might cheer you up, if it is too late to do anything!

1. Laurel and Hardy  - County Hospital

Laurel and Hardy are the ultimate comic geniuses. What better way to start. It amazes me that this brand of humour seems to have died out.

2. Carry on Nurse

Stay safe, stay warm and look after yourself.

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