How much food should I buy amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

In the wake of more stringent measures being imposed across the world, people have rushed out to buy necessities, non-perishable food and disinfectants (if the latter were still on the shelves that is). While we should refrain from panic-buy, we may need to be prepared to stay home for a period of time. And this determines the right amount of food and necessities you should have without resorting to excessive stockpiling of goods.

The main reason to be prepared may arise from the uncertainty whether there will be more restrictions to travel and gathering. You may not be sure whether public transport will run to its full capacity tomorrow.

For me, the rationale behind stocking up some food is for you to be able to stay home comfortably for a certain amount of time. That amount of time is determined by the recommended period of quarantine – an estimated incubation period of the virus. In this case, I bought enough food to sustain myself for slightly more than 14 days. This is so that whenever you are asked to stay home, possibly due to a friend of a friend is being tested for the virus, your recently visiting relative happened to be in the area where cases of COVID-19 had been increasing, or there is a positive case in your apartment. When that happens, it’s always a good idea to have enough food and daily necessities prepared to keep you going.

For me, I bought packs of fresh meat and freeze some of them. In addition to my weekly choice of spinach, kailan, and pak choi, I also bought vegetables that would last longer than green leaves. These included broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers, and carrots. Milk and juice I bought were UHT, meaning they could be kept at room temperature for months. As I prefer freshly cooked food, I only bought a few packs of instant noodles and tinned food, knowing that they would be the very last resort. When buying tinned food, I think it’s good to buy canned vegetables like spinach as well. I guess I will try to stick to a more balanced diet as much as possible.

Apart from food, I tried to make sure that I have enough water. Other than that, it does not hurt to check before going to supermarket whether you will be running out of daily necessities such as toothpaste, soap, and detergents any time soon. If so, you may want to buy them so you won’t have to make too many trips to supermarket at the time when social distancing is encouraged.

That’s it for my relatively short post this week. Stay healthy!