There is doomsday panic around Germany right now, instigated by Corona virus and morbid media updates, and most visible via empty supermarket shelves, racist abuse on U-bahn and kita closures driving parents just a tad bit crazy. We don’t know yet if Germany will come under a lockdown or not, but things are not looking up at the moment. About 3000 cases have been reported in last 10 days; 46 have fully recovered while 8 have unfortunately died. Turkish Airlines has suspended flights to and fro Europe, effective from 14th March 2020 (until 20th April), and most people are working from home.
Italy is currently under lockdown, and there is a whole lot of uncertainty in Germany. I don’t think we need to become world class hoarders but should ideally stock up on a few essentials that could tide you and your family over for at least a week or two. But PLEASE shop sensibly. A week or two at a time is all you need.
I am not a fan of canned food, but right now, I see their merit. So, let’s befriend them – beans, tomatoes, grams. They last a while, feed a few mouths per can, and can make a substantial meal.
Rice, pasta, lentils, quinoa, chia seeds and oatmeal. Also, powdered milk, coffee, tea, flour, sugar and honey. Maybe frozen pizza and vegetables as well? But remember, you don’t have an army to feed, and hence don’t need a trolley filled with pasta alone.
Root veggies (like potatoes and onions) can be kept in dark for longevity. A dozen eggs in the fridge would last you about 4-5 weeks.
Things to make a meal:
Nut butter, cooking oil, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, spices, salt, ginger garlic paste and dried herbs.
Things that you can freeze:
Butter, bread, berries, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peas.
Things to snack on:
Popcorns, chips, crackers, dried fruits and a few bars of snacking chocolate.
Things to keep your house running:
Dishwashing liquid, washing powder, reusable plastic bags (for food storage), toilet paper, tooth paste, hand wash and disinfectants.
Things to keep you healthy:
Medicines. Pads/tampons. For those who have weak respiratory system, like me, keep a nasal spray and neti-pot handy as well. I used this one.
I know self-isolation is prescribed but we aren’t islands, and need human contact. So call up your friends and family. Even better, make it video calls. Also, if you ever wanted to follow a fitness YouTuber, now is the time. Workout at home as often as you can.
Entertainment does not have to be limited to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Expand your roster of activities by including board games, puzzles, book and bake-a-thons.
Most people in Germany are now working from home. If you are too, here’s a word of advice from someone who has been doing it for over two years now. Have a routine. Be on your work desk at a set time every day. Dress up for the part – pjs won’t cut it. Wear comfortable but presentable clothes. Brush your hair. Moisturise your face. Put on a gloss.
Word of advice: Gradually put away supplies like dry goods and enough basic hygiene products to get by for a few weeks, but do not to buy stuff you wouldn’t eat or use anyway—this is about moving consumption forward, not hoarding a big pile of crap. You’d be surprised how quickly you can build up a supply of goods without depriving everyone else of what they also need to get by. The most disastrous part of any doomsday scenario often comes when a selfish mentality becomes dominant, so it’s important to remember that we are, after all, all in this together.
P.S If you have a pet, don’t forget to get their food and supplies as well.