A home plan for social distancing

Wednesday March 25 2020

Stock up on soap and hand sanitisers. Keeping hands clean is an effective preventive measure. NET PHOTO

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has not only led to loss of a significant number of lives but has also, created fear, panic and uncertainly worldwide.

You need to join the world in fighting against the pandemic right in your own home. Prepare your household for any eventual coronavirus outbreak.

Make sure that all surfaces – shelves, tables, chairs, racks, switches, ornamental artefacts and showpieces – are wiped clean at least once a week. Health officials advise that if there are sick people in the house, wipe clean all places that they may have touched.

Coronavirus spreads through contact with an infected person and it transmits through body fluids. Open your windows and reduce the use of airconditioners.

Make sure that your clothes are washed every day. Educate your domestic help, driver and other employees about the coronavirus disease and provide masks and sanitisers to help them. This way you are ensuring their safety, as well as yours.

Check your pantry to make sure there is enough to last you and your family for at least 30 days. Avoid panic buying, purchase what is strictly needed.


You may have already realised that in almost every place you go to including offices and restaurants, sanitisers including antiseptic gel are availed at respective entrances.

A tiny fraction of it is sprayed onto one’s hands before they are eventually allowed to enter a particular building. The sanitiser is aimed to kill any germs that may be lingering on one’s fingers and hands.

“For this very reason, have enough sanitiser stocked in your house as well because who knows, one crucial day, you might need it yourself, or, to spray it onto any person (including any visitor) who makes way into your house,” says Mary Nalwoga, a pharmacist based in Mukono.

Sanitisers are sold in different shops, supermarkets and pharmacies. They are sold in different sizes ranging from the price of at least Shs21, 000, depending on where you buy one from.

Bath and hygiene
.Thirty day supply of medication, including over-the-counter pain relievers, cough and cold medicine and electrolytes
.Toilet paper (which you’ll use more of while being at home full-time)
.Feminine hygiene products
.Hand soap (no, you don’t really need hand sanitiser)
.Laundry detergent (ideally the concentrated kind, which lasts longer)
.Diapers, formula, baby wipes and other infant needs
.Body wash, shampoo, conditioner and skincare needs
.Hand soap and cleaning supplies

Food and kitchen
There is no definitive list of food items, but there are some food items that work better than others. You might also want to audit your kitchen toolkit, in case you find yourself prepping more meals from scratch while stuck indoors.
.Dried beans, rice, flour and other grains.
.Dried fish, soup and stews
.Essentials such as oil, salt and pepper
.Coffee and tea
Snacks that have a longer shelf life, such as dried fruit and nuts

.Meat and poultry (ideally vacuum-sealed), like chicken, beef and pork
.Avoid fish, which can spoil if not properly frozen

Vegetables and fruit
Meanwhile, the washing soap will be very helpful for washing hands from time to time.
“And do not assume that because you are confined home, you should not wash your hands,” says Enock Kavuma, a training community health worker.
“Wash them every after a few hours especially before eating or doing something as crucial as handling a baby.”

Detergents can be purchased from most shops and supermarkets at different prices. For example, a bar of washing soap goes for about Shs3000 while jik goes for over Shs5,000 (depending on the size).

First aid kit and prescription medication
The reason why coronavirus is creating so much worry in the country is because of our fragile health system.

Some people fear that in case of any eventual outbreak, our health systems including hospitals would get overwhelmed. So it is best to have some sort of medication at home so as to prepare for any eventuality.

It is, however, best to first seek medical advice from a qualified medical personnel to receive information on the most important medicine to have within the house in case of any emergency.

Stock up enough handkerchiefs, shawls, sweaters
Your preparations for any eventual possible quarantine should include having a number of hankerschiefs, shawls and sweaters stocked up in the house as well.

Remember, these are crucial in case of any possible outcome since the disease is mostly affiliated with symptoms such as flu and cough. So, just stock up these, in case.

Toilet paper
You may not know this but the demand for toilet paper has been skyrocketing as many countries deal with the coronavirus outbreak. It has been listed as one of the most stocked up home commodities during the ongoing pandemic.