How To Cope With The Toilet Paper Crisis
Coronavirus Hoarder Survival Tip 101
Most of us seem to have given up on finding toilet paper anywhere by now. The most optimistic have taken this on as an opportunity to finally ditch paper products for good, and many others are beginning to follow suit.
This technique is pretty simple: stack dry washcloths or other strips of cloth next to the commode with a bowl of cleaning solution and a disposal system.
A good cleaning solution can consist of water mixed with any of the following ingredients:
- a couple of drops of soap
- aloe vera
- natural cooking oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp oil
- a few drops of a gentle essential oil such as rose or lavender
- hand or body lotion (hypoallergenic only)
- raw shea butter or cocoa butter
The disposal system can consist of sealed bags or a bowl of disinfecting/odor-controlling solution. A simple formula for this is to mix a cup of baking soda and a couple of capfuls of bleach or a half cup of vinegar into a half-gallon of water. Both systems need daily changing.
Look to cloth diapering groups for more tips. Many in those groups gave up paper products a long time ago.
How To Find Disinfectant & Sanitation Products
Pandemic Survival Tip 101
Other items that have been difficult to find during this coronavirus pandemic have been rubbing alcohol, bleach, and hand sanitizer. These aren’t the only products you can use for sanitization and disinfecting, though. Check out the following:
- White Vinegar – While it doesn’t kill as high of a percentage of germs as bleach does, white vinegar is certainly strong enough to be substituted. Research suggests that malt vinegar is the most likely to be effective in killing viruses.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – It’s a great substitute for rubbing alcohol AND bleach which seems to be getting overlooked during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Medical Antiseptics – Most of these are sold as wound care products. Iodine is excellent for post-surgery care but can stain. Bacitracin has the same active ingredient used in foaming hand sanitizers.
- Hand Lotion – You’re likely thinking, “huh?” No, hand lotion doesn’t have magical healing properties. It does help soften the blow to your skin that some disinfectants can provide with frequent use, though, so make sure if you’re using any hand sanitization substitutes that you’re taking good care of your skin, too. It’s your body’s primary defense against diseases.
Don’t Drop The Soap!
Pandemic Survival Tip 102
A popular question among many is what kind of soap is best for ridding yourself of germs. Well, unless you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some of the medical-grade antiseptic soap, you’ll be disappointed to know most antibacterial soaps don’t protect against viruses and don’t kill bacteria very well, either. The good news is that regular soap (yes, even bar soap!) by itself already kills a high number of bacteria and viruses as part of the handwashing process. Mind you, if you don’t wash your hands correctly, soap may not be much help to you at all.
Proper handwashing takes 20-30 seconds and uses very warm water. Work the soap into a good lather as you spread it over your hands, paying special attention to work it in between fingers and under nails. Dip your hands into the water a bit to soften up the soap as you work it over a second time. Rinse… 2 to 3x. Make sure there’s no soap left before you dry off. DON’T USE A DAMP FABRIC TO DRY OFF.
In the event that you can’t find hand soap, bar soap, or another form of soap, you’ll be happy to know that pretty much all forms of soap are equal. You can use laundry detergent to wash your dishes, and dish detergent to wash your hands. It’s all driven by the same active ingredient: sodium lauryl sulfate. How much sodium lauryl sulfate is in the soap depends on the type of soap it is.
Keeping The Coronavirus Pandemic Outside
Pandemic Survival Tip 103
Home should be a peaceful place where you feel safe. Because of this, you should take special precautions to keep your home sanitary during the coronavirus pandemic. When you can trust that your home is free of any risk of infection, the coronavirus pandemic will seem like a much easier issue to handle.
With this in mind, you can start with disinfecting your home once a week. Why once a week and not more often or less often? Well, because doing it more often would be pretty redundant, as you’re about to see in the following paragraphs. Doing it less often would put you more at risk for infection if there are any errors in keeping the home environment sanitary.
It’s really best to avoid wearing shoes indoors, but also not always feasible. With this in mind, it’s also best to stick to hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors so they can be mopped regularly with disinfecting agents. If you happen to have a carpet, you can disinfect it weekly as well by spraying it down while you spray the rest of your home.
A disinfecting spray can be created in a spray bottle of water by adding a capful or two of bleach or other disinfectants. Spray everything in your home that gets touched regularly by multiple people, such as light switches, handles, knobs, cords, touch panels, surfaces, pushbuttons, etc. Go slow because you may overlook some spots otherwise.
The second step in keeping a sanitary home is making sure everyone that enters sanitizes their hands before they touch anything. This way, as long as you aren’t eating and are keeping your hands away from your face while you’re out and about, the chances of infection are greatly decreased.
Face masks are involved in the final step. You don’t need paper masks – fabric masks work, too, and have been recommended to medical professionals during the face mask crisis. While it hasn’t been recommended that Americans wear face masks like China is doing, this has been mostly attributed to social norms more so than science.
While not entire protection unto themselves, face masks do help greatly decrease the chances of infection through someone accidentally coughing or sneezing nearby, as well as decrease the chances of you infecting someone else without your knowledge. Social distancing is still your best bet, but it helps to have a backup plan in any case.
You don’t need to purchase a cloth face mask, either. Tons of items can be substituted. My favorite so far has been scarves. Many of us ladies are almost ready to put those winter scarves to rest or pull out our spring collections. Why not put them to more practical use while still being able to show off a little flare?
How To Find Food
Coronavirus Hoarder Crisis Survival Tip 102
The Coronavirus hoarders have also drained stores of most of their food products. How are you supposed to eat? By finding the food that has been picked over.
The biggest and most obvious one is the produce section. No one thinks to hoard fresh veggies and fruits because they go bad, right? However, most fresh fruits and veggies can be frozen to be prepared at a later date. Add canning and fermenting to that, and you really have no need to buy many nonperishable items.
As many people are aware now, there are a whole host of superfoods that are highly nutritionally dense. You may want to consider planting some of these. Even if you live in an apartment, you can still plant edible plants in pots and stick them in strategic spots like windows. These also are things to watch for in the produce section. My favorite so far has been kale – and you’re about to find out why.
Kale is probably considered to be a god among superfoods. It has almost every vitamin you could possibly need in it, along with a healthy helping of protein and fiber. When it’s frozen, it becomes very easy to crumble.
This makes it ideal as a replacement for meal replacement powders and shakes. Blend a handful with fruit, soy or almond milk, a banana, and some chia seeds to create a smoothie… and you’ve got a perfectly balanced meal (kale doesn’t add any flavor outside of a very faint tartness). If you do it right, it’ll be delicious, too.
Bread can be hard to find, too… as can the yeast to make it. A good substitute for that? Cornbread. Biscuits. Tortillas.
The Best Survival Tip For The Coronavirus Hoarder Crisis
BE CREATIVE & DON’T PANIC. As long as you have Google, an imagination, and a clear head, anything is possible. Remind yourself that this isn’t the end of the world. We have gotten through much worse times than this. It just seems more severe right now because the internet is involved in it this time. Information is created and shared at a blinding pace, and it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and/or overloaded. So remind yourself to breathe.
Start reading personal accounts of what it was like during the Great Depression. These stories of strength and survival can serve as huge sources of inspiration. We have an extremely precious resource in our elderly, and that is part of why we need to do our best to overcome this: for them. Indulge yourself in a hobby, daydream, or good memories of times past. Take this as a time of rest, reflection, and recharging.