Pandemic Essentials You Should Stock Up On, According To ABC Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton

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While face masks and social distancing may be the new normal (at least for now), panic buying doesn't have to be. Just ask ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Jen Ashton, who literally wrote the book on the subject. Dr. Jen's new book, The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the Pandemic Era, includes advice for navigating life amid the pandemic, taking into account the rapidly changing landscape.

"In the book, I really go through how people can kind of 'pandemic-proof' their life and their home and develop this resilience toolkit," she says. And what we really need are things that help us take care of our health at home, according to the doc. 

Here are the top three things Dr. Jen recommends stocking up on now.

1. Mini Medical Kit

"Everyone should have a little medical kit," Dr. Jen says. In hers, she stores prescription medications on one side and bandages and over-the-counter medications on the other side. "Now is a good time to stock up. You don't want to wait until two in the morning," the doc adds. She recommends having OTC meds on hand that treat pain, nausea, constipation, gas, allergic reaction, allergies, itching, skin infection, acid reflux, nasal congestion and diarrhea — just in case.


We took Jen's advice and rounded up some cute + practical options for storing your first aid essentials in style.

Zippered First Aid Bag with Pockets ($13)

Zippered First Aid Bag with Pockets

SWISSGEAR Heather Gray Toiletry Bag ($20)

SWISSGEAR Heather Gray Toiletry Bag

SWISSGEAR Travel Dopp Kit - Black ($20)

SWISSGEAR Travel Dopp Kit - Black

Portable Mini First Aid Pouch ($9)

Portable Mini First Aid Pouch

First Aid & Things Bag ($16) 

First Aid & Things Bag

Insulated Emergency Bag ($25)

Insulated Emergency Bag

Large Silver Micro Mesh Pouch ($7)

Large Silver Micro Mesh Pouch
The Container Store

reisenthel Grey Cosmetic Case ($13)

reisenthel Grey Cosmetic Case
The Container Store

Sonia Kashuk Loaf Bag ($12)

Sonia Kashuk Loaf Bag

American Red Cross Family First Aid Kit ($40)
This 120-piece kit from the American Red Cross contains essential first-aid supplies.

American Red Cross Family First Aid Kit

2. Two Thermometers

"You never know when you're going to lose one, or one's not going to work well," Dr. Jen says.


Here are some top-rated thermometers for at-home use chosen by, Forbes, Business Insider, Wirecutter and NBC News.

Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers

iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer ($20)

iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

ThermoWorks WAND No-Touch Forehead Thermometer ($69)

ThermoWorks Wand

Budget Thermometers

iProven DTR-1221A ($8)

iProven DTR-1221A 

Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer ($10)

Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer

Forehead + Ear Thermometers

iProven DMT-489 ($25)

iProven DMT-489

Chooseen Digital Forehead and Ear Thermometer ($20)

Chooseen Digital Forehead and Ear Thermometer

3. Pulse Oximeter/Heart Rate Monitor 

Dr. Jen uses an Apple Watch Series 6 to monitor her heart rate and check her pulse oximeter and blood oxygen levels. 

"Taking these steps gives you a sense of control over a situation that oftentimes seems out of control," Dr. Jen says, and "hopefully makes this new normal a little bit more palatable."

Apple Watch Series 6
Best Buy

MORE FROM THE DOCTORS: What You Need In Your Emergency Supply Kit

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