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While staying at home during community quarantine may be quite unnerving for some, here’s how you should properly respond in this period of community quarantine.

The novel coronavirus has not only disrupted operations, but it has also impacted the way we go about life as it is. While some remain composed in dealing with the situation, others became increasingly agitated and anxious towards the outbreak. Even before the announcement of community quarantine in the country, people have begun stocking up on their supplies. When the lockdown was broadcasted, stories of panic-buying spread out. People flocked to grocery stores and pharmacies, hoarding food products and medical supplies.

While you were doing your own last-minute grocery shopping, you noticed the almost-empty shelves and long lines at the check-out counters. It is easy to see how hoarding easily became an issue, a serious concern that affects every one of us. So, what actually causes the phenomenon of stockpiling and mass hysteria? With our government and community leaders searching for ways to address different concerns, how can citizens properly respond to the crisis?

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(Photo from Voice of America)

Exploring the Pandemic

The threat of COVID-19 easily instilled fear in us because of its looming uncertainty. A Filipino politician tested positive for the coronavirus disease even if he is asymptomatic. There are similar cases across the world and it seems people without symptoms may really be infected with the disease, stacking up the numbers at an alarming rate. With this uncertainty and with the implementation of the quarantine, it is natural for people to worry over their family and friends. While there are varying degrees and ways of coping, some have become excessive.

In the country, there are government-mandated measures. Yet many remain confused due to the lack of clear guidelines on implementing these actions. Further, the rules on social distancing and isolation can be quite stressful for some. Although keeping connected through digital means is among the solutions, others don’t have a similar privilege. All these cause people’s sense of urgency to heighten and we attempt to take control of the situation ourselves. This manifests through the fear of scarcity and its contagious effect that encourages hoarding supplies beyond what’s reasonable.

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(Photo from Interaksyon)

Surviving the Crisis

If you are in the economical position to purchase what you and your family need, then do so. However, what’s most important is to redirect our mindsets towards considering others. Remember, there are people with families like you who are also dealing with this state of calamity right now. Hoarding means people, especially those with low-income, would not be able to afford and have access to the same supplies you have to protect themselves. The crisis calls for allowing everyone to exercise their right to survive, and this would only be possible by being mindful of others.

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(Photo from Calle Macarone)

What You Actually Need

Evaluate what you and your family need. A lockdown usually lasts for two weeks, so you only need to purchase enough food to last until then. You must consider as well how much food you consume on a daily basis, and adjust your grocery list from there.

For your pantry, you can stock up on beans, lentils, and chickpeas. These can be easily mixed in with salads, stews, and pasta dishes. For your source of protein, choose canned goods like fish and tuna, and nut butter. To get your daily nutrients, whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, and high-fiber cereals are recommended. For snacks and desserts, pick dark chocolate, dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, and nuts rich in omega-3 like pistachios, cashews, and almonds.

(Photo from Scott Warman)

For your freezer, you can still stock up on typical seafood and red meat. Of course, you still need to boost your immune system through vitamins and minerals. Canned vegetables and fruits may be recommended. But you can choose fresh ones that won’t easily rot like broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and green beans.

(Photo from Supermarket News)

All these tips can help address the concern of stockpiling. It is also good to note how the national government is responding to this. Last week, they implemented the issuing of charges against those who overprice and hoard supplies. This came after reports of bulk purchases and selling these online with high prices spread through social media. While the government has acted upon this, it is still crucial for everyone to remain disciplined amid the enhanced community quarantine.

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