About two weeks ago, when the threat of this coronavirus crashing into New York became imminent, I couldn’t sleep. I kept waking up at 4:00 am feeling unprepared, knowing that I needed to buy stuff so my son and I would be well provisioned should we have to stay inside for a prolonged period of time.
I reached to the bedside, grabbed my phone, opened one eye against the glare, and went shopping.
Normally, living in Brooklyn, I pop into the market across the street from my house every other day or so. I’m always stocked with fresh veggies and non expired yogurts. I don’t know what a properly stocked pantry looks like. My mom’s cupboards were always full of pasta, olive oil, and several different kinds of balsamic vinegar—that’s it. Way to set an example for a pandemicly provisioned pantry, mom.
I had no idea what to get. I perused the Fresh Direct website.
Canned foods, I figured, and frozen veggies. That would do it. But in my hurry to get some stuff in the house, I went a little nuts. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Some of you are out there sitting on 200 rolls of toilet paper or something.
When I told my son I had stocked the pantry, he was glad. “Good thinking, Mom,” he said. “What’d you get?”
“I have no idea,” I answered in complete honesty.
We waited in two days of anticipation for the grocery delivery to arrive, so we could see what we’d be living on during our prospective, eventual quarantine.
When the bags came, big heavy ones stuffed with cans of frozen peas, beans, and yes, at least a half dozen boxes of pasta, we were surprised to find out what else I bought.
Here are the weirdest things I panic purchased in prep for coronavirus:
7 boxes of Eggo waffles
“Why did you buy 7 boxes of Eggo waffles?” My son asked, laughing at me.
“I dunno, kid,” I replied. I call him kid when he’s right that I’ve been absurd. This is not an infrequent occurrence.
15 lbs of flour
For some reason I thought it was Little House on the Prairie and I was going to need this. At the very least, if things really go south, I will perfect a pizza crust the crumb structure on a loaf of bread like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Because I also bought:
A dozen packets of yeast
So far I’ve made one pizza dough. Even though I live within delivery distance of literally 1,000 excellent pizza shops. There’s even one directly across the street.
10 lbs of sugar
No idea why I thought this was necessary. I even gave up sweets for Lent, but here we are.
17 cans of soup
Even though I don’t even like soup. I never liked soup. I should have bought masses of Chef Boyardee and left the soup on the virtual shelves. But, yeah. And it’s all some kind of noodle barley. There’s one lobster bisque.
Despite the yeast and the flour, and it’s just taking up room in my freezer that I need for all these Eggo waffles.
3 dozen eggs
Seriously, they’re not even going to last. I’m trying to figure out how to freeze a dozen, but what with the Eggos and the frozen pizzas, freezer space is at a premium.
Several different kinds of Thai simmer saucers
Because once my brother made me some Thai curry with a jarred simmer sauce, and it was good. I guess I could simmer the eggs? I have no idea. I also got coconut milk. No idea how to cook with it.
A tiny bottle of hand sanitizer for $14
Yeah, I def bought that, it’s only 8 fl. And I would have bought two of them, but there was only one left.
A friend of mine got two cases of water. Even though the water situation is not an issue. Another stocked up on batteries, despite the fact that our electricity infrastructure is totally fine. Somehow I also have a box of frozen samosas that want a deep fryer, which I don’t have. I keep wondering if they’d do okay drizzled in oil and popped in the oven.
I made a mad dash to Sephora earlier this week and bought four different kinds of lotion. Even though yeah, I have lotion. But now I have a multi-dimensional anti-age lotion, something called “water cream,” from Japan, my favorite ginseng eye cream, and some kind of vitamin C serum. I guess I figured it would boost my immune system—it won’t.
What’s been your weirdest pandemic prep panic purchase so far? For some reason I also stocked up on pencils. No idea.
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Remind me in September