Shopping during the Zombie Apocalypse or Coronavirus

Had a strange shopping experience today and thought I'd mention a few tips.  My husband and I have been amused from time to time at the "storm shoppers."  We tend not to do that and for decades we've been fine.  But there's a significant risk of the supply chain being somewhat interrupted as workers get sick and drivers get sick, and Celiac is a bit special, so this time we decided to stock up on a few staples.  Obviously, we weren't the only ones to have this thought. Thankfully everyone was polite and there was no hostility.  The staff were geared up for it and seemed to treat it like a holiday.

Things that were often missing:  meats, vegetables and paper products. Things that were not like a usual shortage: not missing were water, juice, milk or bread. 

*** I have updated this article with a "How to get a test" section, at the end.***


1.  Staples like prepared soups, canned or boxed.  You'll be glad of this if you're feeling unwell, even if you don't normally buy prepared anything. Look for the Certified GF label.  McDougall's boxed soups are the ones I like best. But it has grains and beans and some people avoid it. Do the best you can to find what you'd need in a "feeling too unwell to cook" situation.

2.  Pantry staples like lentils, rice, beans, pasta that you tolerate well. Gluten free flour mixes, pancake mix, and instant rolls like Simple Mills Foccacia Mix. 

3.  Onions, squash, root vegetables, potatoes, canned or frozen if necessary.  Very few recipes can go without these, but if you can't get any, look for "Low-FODMAP" recipes because they will avoid some of these starches and onions/garlic.  We had a hard time finding these fresh.

4.  Shallots were available to buy, and they don't take much more effort to peel if you soak them.  What we saw that was missing was onions, garlic and ginger.  If you can't find ginger, check the Indian food store for premade ginger-garlic paste.  It will help you get a recipe started if it otherwise would taste flat.  However, read the label carefully for gluten risk. 

5.  If you want okra and that's hard to find even without a shortage, the Indian store has it frozen usually.  Soul food stores may also have it.  Search engines don't search properly for soul food, you have to use "African" in the search term to find soul food stores, otherwise you just get restaurants.

6.  Remember to check your local Sprouts because they're new and we found more things in stock there, especially meat.  If you normally buy chicken breast, consider also buying whole chicken.  It's more of a hassle to deal with, but you can make soup from the bones.

7.  Frozen veggies are pretty cleaned out. I suggest you consider buying raisins, carrots and daikon (a mild radish like veggie), and make a stir fry of them, then freeze it in smaller packets to use as a quick side dish, or how you would use vegetables.  They're nutritious and you can find those items still.

8.  We didn't have trouble finding butter, sour cream, or gluten free bread loaves, so far those are not gone.  But consider buying up some whole rice and buckwheat groats for my bread machine recipe (if you have the machinery anyway). Remember to buy gluten free yeast if you decide to do this, the packets are safe, of both Red Star and Fleishmann's.

9.  We had stocked up on cheese from Earthfare since they were closing just before all this happened.  Of the fancy cheeses, which may be the last ones sold, Edam cheese is fairly neutral and works in a lot of recipes, it's a mild Swiss.  Don't buy precut, because it won't last like whole packaged blocks.  The shortages may be random from here on out.

10 Don't forget chips.  Take it from someone who was strictly keto for nearly 3 years, a life without crisp crunchy foods is very depressing.  Also you'll probably want to make your own fries at home, so buy a frying oil or some packs of frozen fries suitable for baking in an oven.  This is probably always true as a Celiac, because it's so risky to buy fries in a restaurant.  But in a shortage, it's a double whammy for us. Ore Ida tater tots are GF.  Several other brands are too, some of them organic.  It might be the only thing left.

Bonus tip:  Easter Candy is out!  This seasonal bounty is something the grocery manager can't control.  Especially if you have kids, a life without candy is not likely to work.  But what I've noticed is how often I find candy classics that have a certified GF label.  I suggest you check Whole Foods and Lowe's Foods (the grocery store, not the hardware store) and stock up on safe candy.  Even if people weren't in a panic, that candy will be gone until Halloween.  Lowe's has gluten free labeling on each shelf that helps you find items more easily.  But always check the label on the food itself.

Stay safe and don't give in to the panic.  The point of all this social distancing is to slow the advance of the virus.  Viruses will eventually hit all of us, but hopefully it won't be all of us at once.  What's deadly is if half the population of Durham were hit at once and we all need ventilators at once.  There wouldn't be enough of them.  It's kind of sad that I had to get that bit of wisdom from a TV comedy show, but here it is.

PS  I don't really get why Dr. Oz gets so much hate, he says what other people are saying but he's the one attacked.  It's nice to see him being consulted in this.

Where do I get tested?  (Updates)

If you're trying to make sense of the question "where or how do I get a test?"  then I think this will put you on the right path much faster than a lot of the articles I have read:

If you don't have medical insurance, then this is the map you want to look at to find a physician with a sliding scale to help you:

The NC HHS says it has about 1200 tests as of last week and has used about 300, and it indicated it has criteria for who gets tested, but it always starts with seeing an MD.   My comment:  Although it would be very convenient to have Any Test Now, or Request a Test just give us a test when we ask, it would not trigger the tracking that is in place that helps keep tabs on the spread of the virus.  Tracking it helps officials find where the places of greatest need are.  So the only way to be tested is the traditional way, through your doctor.

 🤗Virtual 🤗 Hugs 🤗 for my 🤗 Readers 🤗



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