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With coronavirus cases on the rise again across the United States and temperatures dropping as we creep into winter, many are worried about another potential lockdown, though it’s unclear if that’s in the cards. While we all hope that doesn’t happen, if it does, we can at least try to be a little more prepared this time around. That means you might want to stock up on a few items, just in case.
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, we saw several household essentials and other entertainment items sell out swiftly. To be more prepared for the unpredictable future, you might want to make sure you have enough rolls of toilet paper and face masks. Reminder: Be sure to not hoard any of these products and make sure there’s enough for everyone, so we don’t experience a mass panic again. Below, are 10 items you might want to buy in case they sell out again.
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1. Hand sanitizer
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like hand sanitizer was impossible to find and many retailers pivoted to making their own. While hand sanitizer is more readily available these days, you’ll want to make sure you have an extra bottle or two in case it becomes hard to find again. Just make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol content so it’s effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, remember that washing your hands is still more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
2. Toilet paper
Like hand sanitizer, toilet paper was a hoarded item at the start of quarantine. Seriously, it was impossible to find. While no one should buy this item in extreme bulk, it might be nice to have an extra pack of TP lying around just in case. Charmin Ultra Soft happens to be the best toilet paper we’ve ever tested, but if you still can’t find it, you’re better off taking what you can get—even if it’s one-ply.
3. Disinfecting wipes and spray
Let’s be honest: Cleaning wipes and spray are still one of those items that are hard to find. But they’re essential for disinfecting surfaces that might have come into contact with the coronavirus. While Lysol products were specifically approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for protecting against coronavirus, right now we’ll take what we can get in terms of disinfecting products. Again, these are one of those products you shouldn’t hoard, but make sure you have some on hand before they’re potentially in short supply again.
As gyms shut down during the start of lockdown, many people raced to build their home gyms, which led to a shortage of dumbbells and other workout equipment. While gyms and fitness boutiques have reopened in certain areas, many still might not feel comfortable working out in public. Dumbbells are still in short supply, but are possible to find at select retailers. So if you’ve wanted to prepare a home gym for the colder months, the time is now.
As people scrambled to find something to do while they were stuck at home, many resorted to puzzles. Because of this, they were actually pretty hard to find in the middle of quarantine. While puzzles are much easier to find these days, you might want to pick up one (or two or three) to keep you entertained in another potential shutdown. Plus, they’re still a fun activity to do with the fam during the holidays anyway.
6. Face masks
Face masks are essential for preventing the spread of the coronavirus when you can’t social distance, and these ones from Athleta are the best ones we’ve ever tested. Earlier this year they were on backorder because of how popular they were, so if you want some, we recommend buying them now. Another great affordable option are the triple-layer face masks from Old Navy, which cost just $12.50 for a pack of five.
7. Patio heaters
Patio heaters are great for expanding the life of your outdoors space in colder weather, and if we encounter another lockdown, they’ll be that much more essential come winter. Patio heaters are honestly pretty hard to find right now, but this one from Hampton Bay is a popular model that is still in stock on Amazon.
Get the Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater at Amazon for $265
8. Nintendo Switches
For the past few months, people have been trying to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch, which seemed to be near impossible unless you wanted to deal with price hikes from third-party sellers. Between the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons in March and a sharp increase in demand due to quarantine gameplay, these popular units experienced a serious shortage. But you can finally find the coveted full-sized gaming consoles at select retailers, meaning you can play with one if we’re stuck inside yet again.
9. Yeast for bread making
Of all the hobbies that happened in quarantine, bread making seemed to be the most popular—and resourceful. It also led to a yeast shortage in grocery stores and online. If you wanted to get into bread making during the colder months, it might be a good idea to get a few yeast packets, so you can successfully bake some in case there’s another shortage later on.
Get the Red Star Yeast Active Dry, 3 Count at Amazon for $3.94
Between the coronavirus pandemic and cold and flu season, many want to make sure they have a thermometer on hand in case they get sick. Not only is a fever one of the first symptoms of COVID-19, according to the (CDC), but it’s also a symptom of the flu and other seasonal illnesses. At the start of the pandemic, thermometers were incredibly difficult to find online and in-stores. While there does appear to be plenty of thermometers in stock right now, we can expect them to be harder to find again as the cold and flu season heats up, so you might want to nab one now if you don’t already own one.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: 10 things to buy in case they sell out as COVID-19 cases rise