Are You Ready for the Next COVID-19 Wave with Medicine Cabinet Essentials?

With the world starting to open back up, now is a good time to take an inventory of your medicine cabinet and gather any essential supplies that you may have depleted over the last few months. Many health and government officials are cautioning people about an anticipated second wave of the COVID-19 virus later this fall or winter. This means that now is the ideal time to stock up on what you need so that you are not left scrambling at the last minute. Here are a few things to make sure that you have in your home for the length of the pandemic.

Essential Over the Counter Medications

If you or a family member contract the coronavirus, you are going to wish that you had all of the necessary over the counter treatments on hand to treat the symptoms. One of the key symptoms of COVID-19 is an unrelenting cough, making it important that you have plenty of cough drops and syrups in your medicine cabinet. Because of the muscle aches and pain, headaches, and fever associated with the virus, be sure to stock up on both ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Buying some anti-diarrheal medication is also a prudent move since many sufferers complain of having diarrhea with the illness.

Prescription Medications

If you currently take prescription medication, it is vital that you stay on top of your inventory of meds to ensure that you do not find yourself in a position where you run out and cannot refill the script. Be sure to pay close attention to expiration dates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people keep at least an extra 10-day supply of prescription medications on hand. With some drugs experiencing shortages, it is important to be aware of how much you have left and leave yourself plenty of time to fill the prescription. While you do not want to create shortages because of unnecessary hoarding, you should speak with your doctor to ensure that you always have a sufficient supply on hand.


A fever is one of the distinguishing signs of COVID-19 and one of the earliest presenting symptoms. Many people were unable to find thermometers for purchase during the early days of the pandemic. Now that supplies have begun to stabilize, it is a good time to make sure that you have a quality thermometer in working order. The best thermometers during the COVID-19 age are the modern infrared devices that require no contact. However, a basic thermometer for use under the tongue is just as effective. Remember that infants need to have their temperatures monitored with a rectal thermometer.

Pulse Oximeter

While it is not absolutely necessary, many people are choosing to prepare themselves by purchasing a pulse oximeter for monitoring use at home. This device measures the saturation of oxygen that is present in the red blood cells in the body. Owning your own pulse oximeter is a good idea if you live with somebody who has compromised health and is particularly susceptible to becoming very ill with the virus.

Miscellaneous Essentials

In addition to the obvious medications and supplies that may be helpful if you or a loved one contract the virus, it is a good idea to make sure that you have other health essentials stocked up. The goal is to be able to treat minor cuts and medical issues at home. Start with a well-stocked first aid kit. If you are forced to quarantine again, you will want to make sure that your kit has plenty of bandages, gauze pads, hydrocortisone, and antibiotic ointment. Other essentials to have on hand include a good pair of tweezers to remove splinters and ticks, calamine lotion for those summer mosquito bites, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks, and antibacterial wipes.

Nobody can predict what the future will hold with the trajectory of this deadly virus. While you can never 100% protect yourself from COVID-19 without living in a bubble, you can take steps to ensure that your household is prepared for what may lie ahead. It should be noted that the contents of your medicine cabinet are never a substitute for professional medical attention. It is important to seek the care of your healthcare provider if you suspect that you may be ill.

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