How to Put Together a Coronavirus Survival Kit: 18 Essential Items

Updated

COVID-19 has kicked our collective butts over the past year. If you or someone you know gets exposed to the virus, having a plan complete with essential items makes the experience a bit less stressful. Given that the vast majority of people who contract COVID recover at home, it’s a good idea to have an emergency at-home survival kit.

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These are things worth having in your home at all times in case of illness, but they’re especially useful if someone in your household gets COVID. These things also make an excellent addition to a quarantine care package for a loved one. 

Not sure where to begin? We’ve come up with a list of some essential items paired with gag gifts to lift a loved one’s spirits. 

Essential Items for a Coronavirus Survival Kit to Keep at Your Home

The specific things you choose to keep in your coronavirus survival kit will depend on your family, health level, and any extras that feel right to you. All of these things are intended to keep you safe, comfortable, and help you recover quickly. 

1. A thermometer

A thermometer is a must-have if you’re tracking any virus. A thermometer detects whether you might be developing more severe symptoms since a temperature is a possible sign of the COVID19 virus. If you develop a fever, you’ll want to check your temperature every few hours to monitor your condition.  

Having a functional, easy-to-use thermometer is a household essential. If you have children, you’ll want a child-friendly thermometer. Infrared thermometers are a great option as they are easy for various ages and abilities!

2. Healthy foods

According to nutritionists from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, it’s important to eat healthy, unprocessed foods when you’re recovering from COVID19. Additionally, you need to avoid trips to the grocery store where you risk exposure, so keep enough healthy food at home to last several weeks.

While it’s easy to give in to quick, cheap meals when you’re feeling down, nourishing foods can help you recover more quickly. 

Keeping some easy-to-prepare healthy foods in your home for times when you’re not feeling up to cooking a large meal is a great idea. Things like broth, soup, and vegetables are perfect. Prepare some meals and stick them in the freezer.

3. Over-the-counter medication

Every home should have a collection of over-the-counter medications. These should include fever-reducers, saline nose spray, pain relievers, and cough suppressants. You should also have medicine for children as well if you have kids at home. 

When storing over-the-counter medication, make sure they’re not in a place children can access. Also, check your medication regularly to be sure it hasn’t expired. While expired medication likely still works, it will be less effective. 

Make sure to check with your doctor or pediatrician before taking or giving any medications — even over the counter!

4. Hydrating beverages

If you contract COVID-19, it’s essential to stay hydrated. While water is necessary, beverages with electrolytes can help restore some of your energy as you heal. Electrolyte-enriched drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade can help you feel better. 

5. Emergency plan and contacts

No matter how healthy you are, you should make an emergency plan for yourself and your loved ones if you need to take action quickly. The majority of people who contract COVID-19 can recover at home, but some require additional care. 

If you need to go to the hospital, you’ll want to know where to go, who to contact, and your insurance information. To prepare, store important documents somewhere easy to grab in case you need to seek emergency care. 

6. First aid essentials

During the global pandemic, you’ll want to limit the number of times you have to go to the store or pharmacy. Having a basic first aid kit with essentials means you won’t need to go to the pharmacy or a convenience store if you have a minor injury in your home. 

7. Cleaning supplies

Cleaning during a pandemic helps to ward off germs! While you likely already have cleaning supplies in your home, you’ll want to stock up for your coronavirus essentials kit. 

Make sure you have enough sanitizer, disinfectant, wipes, and laundry detergent. Having these things close to your bedside and at the door makes it easy to disinfect while you’re resting and as you enter your home. 

8. Face coverings

According to the CDC, wearing a mask is a proven way to limit the spread of the virus. If you’re unsure whether you or someone in your household has COVID-19, wearing a face-covering is a good idea to help stop the spread to others in your house. 

If the sick individual is unable to wear a mask, keep them quarantined in a different area of the home. Additionally, healthy individuals can wear their own medical masks around the sick person to limit exposure.

9. Pet supplies

If you have any pets in your home, you’ll want to include them in your coronavirus survival kit. It’s a good idea to have a plan for your pet in case of illness. 

This might mean purchasing extra food and supplies, so you don’t need to run to the store, or you might ensure you have a trusted loved one on speed dial to care for your pet while you recover. 

10. Notebook

Finally, it’s a good idea to have a notebook or other form of symptom tracker to write down any changes. You’ll want to keep track of the sick individual’s temperature and symptoms daily. This is the best way to stay on top of their progress and recovery.

Funny Gift Ideas for a Coronavirus Survival Kit to Send to a Loved One

A global pandemic is nothing to laugh at, but we all need to release a few pent-up feelings from time to time. A funny gift for a coronavirus survival kit is just what your loved one needs. Laughter is the best medicine, after all. Mail one of these funny gifts to make their quarantine a bit brighter. 

11. Fun face masks

With the rise of face-covering mandates, people have started getting very creative with their face masks. There are so many great ones to include in a coronavirus survival kit, from funky patterns and fabrics to hilarious designs. 

Whether you choose one that looks like a cat or a famous face, they’re sure to get a laugh out of it. Better yet, this is something they’ll actually put to use. 

12. Silly bandages

Bandages aren’t necessarily relevant to the coronavirus, but they do fit the theme of getting better. We could all use a pick-me-up, and these make healing skin injuries fun. There are endless fun options to choose from, like bravery badges or Shakespearean insults

13. Pandemic-themed card

We can all agree that living through a pandemic isn’t exactly a fun experience. That being said, it’s brought everyone a bit closer together in some way or another. 

Honor this crazy experience with a pandemic-themed card for your survival kit. From poking fun at the toilet paper crisis to hand sanitizer, Etsy is full of creative cards. These will also make an interesting memento in years from now when all of this is a distant memory.

14. Laugh out loud soap

If there’s one thing you can’t get enough of during COVID-19, it's soap. Not only is this a practical gift during the pandemic, but the right label is sure to have your recipient doubled over in laughter. 

The Whiskey River Soap Co quickly gained popularity for their hilarious and over-the-top labels that seem a bit too accurate. From the Walking Dead soap that “smells like a nurse on a double-shift” to Sunday Funday soap which smells like “a Monday morning call-in sick day,” these are too funny to pass up.

15. Coronavirus stickers

Stickers are always a fun pick-me-up, especially when everything else in the world seems to be falling apart. Hilarious stickers to help remember how you “survived” the pandemic are a fun reminder that the world is still spinning. 

Other Gift Ideas to Put in a Coronavirus Survival Kit Gift

Fill a COVID survival kit with anything that makes life a bit easier. Here are some other ideas. 

16. Beer or wine

Let’s face it, quarantine can get boring. Once someone recovers, they might need a stiff drink! When paired with one of these hilarious label stickers, this might just be the best quarantine gift. 

17. Blanket

There are a lot of symptoms that can come with COVID-19. Many people report feeling chills or struggling to get warm. 

A cozy blanket picked just for your loved one can help them snuggle up while they recover. It’s also a perfect quarantine companion once they’re better. A heated blanket is also a great idea. 

18. Food or grocery delivery gift card

Last but not least, help your loved one get fresh food or groceries with a food or grocery delivery gift card. An Instacart or UberEats gift card keeps them safe while they recover from home. If you can’t be there for them in-person, be there virtually. 

Prepare for a Global Pandemic

A coronavirus survival kit is a useful thing to have around the house. It also makes for a thoughtful gift. Not only are they easy to make, but they’re the perfect way to help yourself or a loved one recovery comfortably. These items can be found online or in stores, and they’re all affordably priced. 

Just as you look for emergency flights last-minute, you might be shopping for some of these things last-minute. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Similarly, take the time to check in with loved ones to make sure there isn’t anything they need. Coming together (in spirit) is the best way to heal. 


Sources:

  1. “Evidence for Effectiveness of Masks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Guidance for Wearing Masks. 18 February 2021. CDC.gov
  2. “Should I Prepare a COVID-19 Emergency Care Kit?” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. 16 April 2020. MountSinai.org.  
  3. “Symptoms of Coronavirus.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC. 22 February 2021. CDC.gov

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