Tuesday April 7, 2020
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Here’s a List of Essential Items You Should Have at Home

COVID-19 Lockdown: Say yes to essentials, no to hoarding

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Essential items
In this season of a viral outbreak and medical emergency, keep yourself covered with these essential items. IANS

As the nation enters into a three-week lockdown and as per the central and the state governments’ directives, essential items will be readily available. So we urge you not to refrain from hoarding so that there is plenty for everyone, and we don’t fall into a self inflicted shortfall.

Hard times teach us “what to do” in our daily lives, and also to be ready with certain items which one might need at any given emergency. Be it a virus outbreak or not, it helps to have these items in stock. So, in this season of a viral outbreak and medical emergency, keep yourself covered with these items:

Essential items
It is very important to stock essential food items. IANS

Baby Food

Kids are the most vulnerable section of the population and have special dietary requirements. Keeping some packages or bottles of the baby food, milk, powdered milk, and healthy drinks will ensure your little ones are taken care of. Also easy to make items like pasta, fires and healthier options like cereal are handy.

Household items

In these testing times, all we need is the basics. Items like soaps, dish washing soap, handwash, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, adult and baby diapers and hygiene products are essential.

Food items

Our health mainly resides in the kitchen. It is the perfect time to have handy non-perishable items like grains, rice, quinoa, pulses, lentils, nuts including pistachios and cashews. Loaded with nutrients to boost energy and improve immunity, coupled with a longer shelf life, these food items will be a great boon.

Water

Safe drinking water is essential, and it is imperative to stock up on that. Some experts suggest at least two-week drinking water at disposal is important all year round.

Essential items
Keeping all the essential medicines is very important. IANS

Medication

It is a practical idea to have your prescriptions, over the counter, basic medicine at home at this time. This becomes imperative if you are currently on medication, have an infant or a senior citizen at home, or someone with illness.

Pet supplies

If we are bracing ourselves to fight the tough times, we can’t afford to leave are furry friends behind. Ensure that you have sufficient pet food, litter and supplies in place.

Also Read- Hydrate and Prepare Yourself for Summers

Fitness essentials

To keep your immunity up and to fight the testing times, why compromise on fitness. Stock up on free-weights and resistance training items like dumbbells, resistance bands, jumping rope and yoga mats. (IANS)

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Find out How Coronavirus Pandemic Has Disrupted Global Food Supplies

Explainer: How Coronavirus Crisis Is Affecting Food Supply

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coronavirus
People wait in line to buy food amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in downtown Havana, Cuba. VOA

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global food supplies and is causing labor shortages in agriculture worldwide. This is the latest health news.

Are there food shortages?

Panic buying by shoppers cleared supermarket shelves of staples such as pasta and flour as populations worldwide prepared for lockdowns.

Meat and dairy producers as well as fruit and vegetable farmers struggled to shift supplies from restaurants to grocery stores, creating the perception of shortages for consumers.

Retailers and authorities say there are no underlying shortages and supplies of most products have been or will be replenished. Bakery and pasta firms in Europe and North America have increased production.

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Food firms say panic purchasing is subsiding as households have stocked up and are adjusting to lockdown routines.

coronavirus
Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a farm near Arvin, California, U.S. VOA

The logistics to get food from the field to the plate, however, are being increasingly affected and point to longer-term problems.

In the short term, lack of air freight and trucker shortages are disrupting deliveries of fresh food.

In the long term, lack of labor is affecting planting and harvesting and could cause shortages and rising prices for staple crops in a throwback to the food crises that shook developing nations a decade ago.

What’s disrupting the food supply?

With many planes grounded and shipping containers hard to find after the initial coronavirus crisis in China, shipments of vegetables from Africa to Europe or fruit from South America to the United States are being disrupted.

A labor shortage could also cause crops to rot in the fields.

As spring starts in Europe, farms are rushing to find enough workers to pick strawberries and asparagus, after border closures prevented the usual flow of foreign laborers. France has called on its own citizens to help offset an estimated shortfall of 200,000 workers.

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More wide-scale crop losses are looming in India, where a lockdown has sent masses of workers home, leaving farms and markets short of hands as staple crops like wheat near harvest.

Is food going to cost more?

Wheat futures surged in March to two-month highs, partly because of the spike in demand for bakery and pasta goods, while corn (maize) sank to a 3½-year low as its extensive use in biofuel exposed it to an oil price collapse.

Benchmark Thai white rice prices have already hit their highest level in eight years.

Swings in commodity markets are not necessarily passed on in prices of grocery goods, as food firms typically buy raw materials in advance. A sustained rise in prices will, however, eventually be passed on to consumers.

coronavirus
A farmer feeds iceberg lettuce to his buffalo during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Bhuinj village in Satara district in the western state of Maharashtra, India. VOA

Some poorer countries subsidize food to keep prices stable.

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The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that a rush to buy by countries that rely on imports of staple foods could fuel global food inflation, despite ample reserves of staple crops.

Fresh produce such as fruit or fish or unprocessed grains such as rice reflect more immediately changes in supply and demand.

Will there be enough food if the crisis lasts?

Analysts say global supplies of the most widely consumed food crops are adequate. Wheat production is projected to be at record levels in the year ahead.

Also Read- Every Hospital in US May Treat COVID-19 Patients: Health Human Service Agency

However, the concentration of exportable supply of some food commodities in a small number of countries and export restrictions by big suppliers concerned about having enough supply at home can make world supply more fragile than headline figures suggest.

Another source of tension in global food supply could be China. There are signs the country is scooping up foreign agricultural supplies as it emerges from its coronavirus shutdown and rebuilds its massive pork industry after a devastating pig disease epidemic. (VOA)