Remember around this time last year when you thought to yourself that this pandemic would be over in six months or less?
Ha, the joke’s on us, bud. At this point, you’re probably thinking Covid isn’t going anywhere. We just have to learn how to live with it until everyone is vaccinated.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s realizing we’ve been too close for comfort with everyone and everything.
For preppers like us, it’s second nature to prepare for the worst. And when it comes to pandemic prepping, we never leave the house without our Covid-proof essentials anymore.
Essential Everyday Carry Items for Covid
Ever since the pandemic broke out, folks worldwide have worn their face masks as protection from the novel coronavirus. The wearing of face masks isn’t only recommended but also required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
You’ll learn that there are many different types of face coverings, but which type offers the best protection? To help you decide which one is more suitable to wear and carry, we’ve listed down the common types of masks and their effectiveness below:
A surgical mask is a loose-fitting device that shields the nose and mouth of the wearer from large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, splatters, and any potential contaminant that may contain viruses and bacteria. This mask also lessens the exposure of your saliva and airway secretions to others.
If worn properly and diligently, a surgical mask can effectively reduce the risk of spreading respiratory infections in public spaces. Keep in mind that this type of cover is single-use only. You must safely discard it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash bin.
The N95 respirator has similar properties to a surgical mask. It’s a respiratory protective device with a very efficient filtration system of airborne particles. It’s also fluid-resistant and commonly used by medical frontliners. Like the surgical mask, it shouldn’t be shared and reused.
It’s important to note that this type of mask has a tight facial fit, meaning its makers designed it to form a seal around the nose and mouth, making breathing a little more challenging.
That said, medical professionals don’t recommend the N95 respirator for folks with chronic respiratory problems and other medical conditions without the consent of their healthcare provider.
A cloth or fabric mask is cheap to buy or easy to make. This mask is only as effective as the others in this list if it’s made of three layers of pure cotton and designed with a filter pocket.
Don’t even bother wearing one in public if your cloth mask doesn’t meet this standard. Its filtration effectiveness is already generally low, so unless it has multiple layers, you better ditch that shirt mask and bandana.
If well-designed and used correctly, though, a cloth mask will be successful in trapping droplets when you cough, sneeze or talk, ultimately reducing the spread of viruses.
The best thing about this type of mask is that it can be washed and worn again and minimizes waste. You can also use folded facial tissues as filters. They’re easy to change every day or when necessary.
Face masks are a given when it comes to personal protective equipment. But if you seek extra protection, you might want to add a face shield to your EDC, especially when traveling.
Even though face shields aren’t mandatory in the United States yet, they’re still a great supplement to your face mask. Apart from covering your nose and mouth, it’s essential to protect your face and eyes, too.
The virus could still enter your body through your eyes, but with a face shield, it blocks the direct transmission to your eyes, as well as your mouth and nose.
There are many types of face shields you can find online. It’s up to you to choose which one meets your needs and offers the best additional protection.
An everyday carry item you shouldn’t leave home without is a disinfectant. One of the most effective disinfectants is alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ensure you get isopropyl alcohol with a 70% solution since they’re better at killing most bacteria and fungi, and many viruses.
Since you’ll most likely be touching different surfaces or objects when you’re out and about, you should always keep a bottle of alcohol in your bag to disinfect your hands immediately.
If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, alcohol can be an alternative since it can quickly reduce the number of microbes in your hands. According to the CDC, you need to apply the product to the palm of your hand and rub it all over the surfaces of your hands until they’re dry.
Sanitizing wipes come in handy when you need to wipe down tables at restaurants, shopping carts in grocery stores, doorknobs in public places, or your cell phone. A travel-sized pack is best for EDC because it fits perfectly in a small bag or your pocket.
Other than rubbing alcohol, sanitizing wipes make good disinfectants, too. While these wipes are great for cleaning surfaces, they’re also a top option for removing visible dirt from your hands. Make sure you purchase ones with at least 60% alcohol to remove and kill the germs effectively.
People who sneeze and cough in public without covering their nose and mouth have a special place in hell. Let’s not forget those who spit anywhere they like, too. Even before this pandemic changed everyone’s lives, covering coughs and sneezes has always been a practice of simple respiratory etiquette.
Now that a deadly virus has plagued our land, health authorities require everyone to observe good personal hygiene at all times. As a result, folks have been stocking up on (or should we say hoarding) facial tissue and other household paper products. But don’t let the effects of mass hysteria get to you. An intelligent prepper would know how to prepare and protect oneself during a pandemic outbreak.
Since the primary way for the virus to be transmitted is through viral droplets from coughs and sneezes, keeping a pack of facial tissue with you and disposing of used tissues in the right bin will help prevent the rapid spread of the virus to others.
Reusable Water Bottle
Your everyday carry items should include a reusable water bottle. Why? It’s vital to stay hydrated always, especially now that we’re in a pandemic. Since the virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, you shouldn’t be worried about contracting the virus through your water bottle. However, it’s a must that you take extra safety measures when away from home. Follow these best practices below:
- Don’t share your water bottle with anyone. Not even with your closest friend.
- Clean your water bottle regularly. Wash it with dish soap and warm water.
- Don’t touch your used bottle with water jugs or drink dispensers at work or in public places.
- Fill up your reusable water bottle at home to be more cautious.
If you want to go above and beyond when it comes to Covid protection, you’ll need a pair of disposable gloves. Medical professionals and average joes use surgical gloves as a protective barrier to prevent the possible transmission of diseases--- in this case, the coronavirus disease.
In these times, folks are encouraged to minimize contact with surfaces, and a set of latex gloves could help you with that, especially when you’re on a grocery run. You can store your gloves in a pouch or a ziplock bag to keep them free from germs when not in use.
Remember to learn how to remove them properly because you don’t want your hands to be contaminated. The golden rule is skin touches skin and glove touches glove. Once you’re successful at removing the gloves, dispose of them the right way.
It’s safe to say that this pandemic has made everyone a bunch of clean freaks. That being the case, folks have been figuring out ways to limit their exposure to bacteria and viruses. In the prepping community, an EDC gear that helps reduce contact on high-traffic surfaces like door handles and elevator buttons materialized.
You might have seen many of its variations advertised online, but they all serve the same primary purpose, which is to help lessen skin-on-surface exposure in public areas.
This no-touch tool is also made of brass and copper. These materials have antiviral properties, meaning harmful particles that carry the virus can only survive on the surface for shorter periods. In other words, this pocketable device is an excellent addition to your everyday carry.
But if you’re not at all convinced about buying this device, a wallet multitool can be a good alternative, too. You won’t have to worry about pressing elevator buttons or touching public switches anymore with this gear. Plus, it does a bunch of other cool stuff.
In the world we live in now, making significant changes to your EDC could keep you safe. Sure, a paracord bracelet or pocket knife could potentially save your life, but they’re no match against a deadly virus.
We’re not saying you have to pull out all the excellent prepper gear in your kit; we’re suggesting you make some serious upgrades and sprinkle in everyday carry items that are pandemic-appropriate.
Did we miss anything on our list? Let us know in the comments section below.