10 to-dos before the next big COVID-19 surge

As the fall and winter COVID-19 surge gets underway, there are things you can do to prepare. Not only should you be ready to quarantine at a moment's notice, but you should be ready for possible shopping shortages, job losses, and business closures.

The fall and winter COVID-19 surge has been discussed at length by public health officials, with the warning that it will likely be the worst yet because of the overlap with seasonal flu. However, there are things you can do to help avoid a worst-case scenario.

1.    Get a flu shot

For fall 2020 through spring 2021, you can easily find flu shots available for free. Community clinics, local medical centers, large grocery stores, and drug stores are all offering flu shots. Avoiding the flu will help you avoid the hospital during a time of high capacity and abundant contagion.

2.    Stock up on paper and canned goods

Shelf-stable items such as toilet paper and canned foods are the types of items people over-purchased during the first COVID-19 surge. Therefore, it is likely these products could be hard to come by again this winter. It is wise to stock up early, and it will come in handy if you have to quarantine.

3.    Set up a home gym

If widespread closures are enacted, gyms may be closed over the winter and spring. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it makes it difficult to keep your body healthy during a time when health is key to avoiding illness. Setting up a home gym is a great way to prepare.

4.    Make some extra money

The holidays are around the corner, and spending is always higher. However, because job losses have followed previous COVID-19 surges, it's important to pad your bank account now. Extra money could come from a side gig that is in demand now, such as virtual tutoring.

5.    Clear out clutter now

If a surge occurs, you will likely spend a lot of time at home. Now is the moment to get rid of unwanted items and clutter, especially because donation bins may close when case numbers rise. Keeping your home free from clutter will benefit your mental health.

6.    Take a multivitamin

Research has linked COVID-19 severity with vitamin D deficiency, so be sure to start taking a multivitamin. Vitamins help fill in nutritional gaps and boost your body's immune system. If you have moderate deficiencies, it can take a few months of taking a multivitamin before that is rectified.

7.    Cancel unneeded subscriptions

If you can do without something, cancel the subscription. It will help you save money, which you may need if you lose your job or have to pay medical bills. Carefully look through your autopay subscriptions as well.

8.    Make a will

If you don't have a will, this is the time to make one. You just never know when you'll need a will, COVID-19 or not, and having one will bring peace of mind that your wishes will be upheld.

9.    Stock your medicine cabinet

Colds, flu, and COVID-19 are all on the rise this fall and winter. It's wise to have a medicine cabinet equipped to manage the symptoms. This may include fever reducer, a thermometer, vitamins, cough drops, and more.

10.    Plan virtual family gatherings

This year, it's safer to avoid large in-person gatherings. It's better to plan for virtual celebrations, so you can still catch up with family but without the risk.

Preparing for the next COVID-19 surge takes a bit of forethought, but it will be well worth your time and effort.