What you need in your pantry for a coronavirus quarantine

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has everyone on edge. People in nations across the globe are rushing out to buy hand sanitizer, tissues, Clorox wipes, and everything else to keep the germs away. But what should you have in your pantry if your community faces a coronavirus quarantine?

The coronaviruses are comprised of a big group of illnesses, ranging from the common cold to SARS to this new virus, which is called a novel coronavirus (via World Health Organization). According to the Centers for Disease Control, coronavirus is thought to spread from person to person or through respiratory droplets that are released when you cough or sneeze.

This novel coronavirus is a disruptive disease that could cause two-week long quarantines and possible business and government closures, and if that happens, you will want a well-stocked pantry. The Department of Homeland Security is recommending having a two-week supply of food and water on hand for you and your family in the event the coronavirus pandemic hits your community.

What kinds of foods and beverages should you line your shelves with if there is a coronavirus quarantine? Yona Sipos, a professor of environmental and health sciences at University of Washington's School of Public Health, advised editors of Epicurious to not shop randomly, but instead, after taking stock of what you already have in your cabinets, have a plan and make a list of items you need and that have a long shelf life.

Food that will last during a coronavirus quarantine

As you are organizing your grocery shopping list, there are a few things to take into consideration. Thankfully, the Red Cross has lots of tips on safety and preparedness. At the top of their list, though, is a two-week supply of water. The rule of thumb is one gallon a day per person. Additionally, low-sugar juices like orange, cranberry, and apple juice boxes are good to have in the cupboard. According to StillTasty, juice boxes have a shelf life of between 12 and 18 months.

As far as food goes, Alyssa Pike, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council, told Business Insider that your 14-day supply should consist of dry goods such as rice, pasta, beans, oats, nuts, dried fruits, and cereals, along with canned foods containing liquids that can be used to cook dried foods like pasta and rice.

Epicurious also suggests adding canned or pouched tuna, mackerel, or anchovies, along with cans or jars of tomato sauce and paste, protein bars, granola, and nut butters to your shopping list.

Items to have at home if you are sick

Carla Lalli Music of Bon Appetit recommends stocking your refrigerator with a few staples, such as eggs and buttermilk, and don't forget hard cheeses like parmesan and aged gouda. These are good choices because they keep for several weeks. She also recommends stocking up on hard salami and/or jerky for the same reason.

Also, don't forget your freezer. Even if you do not have a big freezer chest, frozen uncooked meat like hamburger, steak, and pork will keep for four months (via Woman's Day) while chicken can be frozen for up to nine months according to Foodsafety.gov. Fish can also be frozen, but The Better Fish says it needs to be used within three months. Additionally, bread can be frozen along with fruits and vegetables.

If you get sick, don't panic. According to a New York Times article, of the reported cases in China, 80 percent of them were reported as mild. In addition to Kleenex and hand sanitizer, what else do you need to have at home?

In an NPR interview, Edith Bracho–Sanchez, a pediatrician at Columbia University Medical, recommended having your "go-to sickbed foods" on hand. Think broths, chicken soup, saltines, hot tea and honey, Gatorade and Pedialyte, and ginger ale. Healthline suggests using certain spices can help alleviate sinus and chest congestion, specifically pepper and horseradish, which they say can help break up congestion so you can breathe better. 

Don't forget comfort foods during a coronavirus quarantine

Equally important items to stock up on are comfort foods and beverages. If you are going to be telecommuting during a coronavirus quarantine, you might not be able to easily pop in to your favorite local coffee shop, enjoy that glass of wine with friends, or satiate those late-night munchies. 

Business Insider suggests that these comfort foods are often overlooked when preparing your 14-day coronavirus quarantine food stash and can boost morale and moods. So don't forget to hit the tea and coffee aisle of the supermarket and grab a bottle of wine along with some chocolate, microwave popcorn, hard candies, and cookies.