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Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Most countries which have lockdowns have been able to ensure supplies of basic and essential items to the people. Nevertheless, it is useful for citizens to ensure that they keep adequate inventories of medicines or any special food items that they need.  

In a posting abroad with a company, when we had sustained curfews for a few months in the town, we were advised to always keep some inventories of seven items at home. These are drinking water, flour, rice, lentils, cooking oil, salt and sugar. Many homes which managed with refrigerators only, are now planning to buy freezers, to ensure that are covered with food for a rainy day.

In many localities which were declared as containment zones in various countries, health and municipal officers were able to distribute foods and medicines to individual homes. This is indeed commendable, for it requires rigorous logistics, planning and delivery mechanisms. It also requires the commitment and selfless service of the staff distributing the essentials to homes.  Thus, keeping some basics at home for emergencies can reduce stress for everybody, especially when there are children or elders at home.

COVID-19 is indeed putting financial pressure on all families. Many have lost jobs and others face salary cuts, in the public and private sectors, across nations.  It is therefore important to save as much money as we can for the future. We may need to postpone all expenses on luxuries, pleasure travel, parties, etc. The pandemic will get tamed only through the discovery and dissemination of a vaccine, which may take about 18 months. So, in 2020 and 2021, we may have to use every tea-bag twice and squeeze every last bit from the toothpaste tube, to conserve monies for unchartered emergencies in a world going haywire.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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