Things to eat, things to do, and things to stay safe.

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is looming as cases continue to rise across the nation. As many Americans prepare for another potential lockdown on the horizon, it's time to re-evaluate what you should and should not stock up on. Here's our list of nine items you need to stock up on before a possible second COVID wave hits. 

1. Board Games

While the nation may or may not go on another lockdown, you should be staying indoors as much as possible to avoid contracting or spreading the virus. The downside is all this alone time can be boring. Board games are a great way to help pass the time with your family. If you have little kids at home, board games can be a great way to build on necessary skills like problem-solving, creativity, and strategy. Plus, board games are one of the best ways to bond and grow closer as a family. We've put together some great shopping guides to the best board games. Check them out:

Board games for ages 3–6

Board games for ages 7–12

Board games for ages 12 and up

2. Puzzles

puzzles

Give your brain a boost by stocking up on puzzles. The more challenging the puzzle, the more creativity, thinking, and problem-solving skills it will require. Like board games, puzzles can be a great way to bond with those you will be quarantined with. And if you need a day or two to socially distance from them as well (for sanity's sake), puzzles can be a great form of independent entertainment, too!

Looking for a puzzle that's unique? Check out this 13-hour Arby's puzzle! Or, if you want something supremely challenging, check out one of these super-difficult puzzles!

3. Dry Goods Your Family Will Actually Eat

As we enter flu season, you'll want to limit your trips to the grocery store. By stocking up on canned or frozen foods, you can absolutely do this. Just be sure that when you're shopping around for dry goods, you are purchasing items that your family will actually eat regardless of it being a pandemic or not. If your family has never eaten spam or doesn't care for it, there's no sense in purchasing it as a "just in case item." Be thoughtful about the dry goods you purchase so that you end up consuming them and not wasting them.

4. Savings

If you're going to be doing a lot of grocery shopping, now is the time to make use out of some of those popular grocery saving apps. Ibotta, for example, has some great deals on items you're probably going to buy anyway. What better time to stock up on savings than during a pandemic?

Aside from saving money on your groceries, you'll also want to make sure that you are keeping some sort of emergency fund on the side. During the first wave, many families struggled due to the unexpected loss of an income, increasing grocery prices, and other unplanned bills. If you don't have an emergency fund in place, then there's no better time to start one than it now. Even if it's only $50 that you can set aside, that's $50 that can come in handy in case of an emergency.

5. Vitamins 

second COVID wave

Whether or not you take vitamins regularly, the anticipation of the second coronavirus wave is the perfect time to start. Stocking up on daily vitamins will give your body an additional boost. Vitamin C and zinc can be especially helpful in giving your immune system an extra layer of defense. For children, there are a variety of surprisingly tasty multivitamins that they will enjoy as well.

6. Cold Medicine

The dangers of the second coronavirus wave are magnified by the fact that it's coming during flu season. Stock up on cold and pain medicine like Tylenol and ibuprofen in case someone in your family were to fall ill with the common cold or flu. It's especially important to purchase cold medicines if you have young children at home. Speaking of flu, if you have not done so already, be sure to get your flu vaccine so that your body has that extra level of protection as well. 

7. Hand Cream

With all the handwashing that you have been and will be doing, your hands are likely to suffer from dryness and itching if they aren't already. One of the best ways to combat this is by moisturizing them on a daily basis. Invest in some moisturizing hand cream like CeraVe to help keep your skin nourished and supple. If it isn't the handwashing that will get you, the dry winter weather certainly will.

8. Work From Home Equipment

second COVID wave

A whopping 42 percent of Americans are now working from home, with most of those having transitioned to remote work because of the pandemic. While the novelty of working from home is starting to wear out for some employees, many people are realizing just how ill-equipped their remote work station might be. With Black Friday deals just around the corner, now is a great time to stock up on some necessary equipment that will help you work from home. If you haven't done so already, consider investing in the following:

  • A display monitor

  • A headset with a microphone

  • A home printer

  • Blue light glasses

  • An ergonomic keyboard

  • An ergonomic desk chair or yoga ball to help promote good posture

9. Face Masks 

Last but not least, you can never have enough face masks during a pandemic. Luckily, the mask shortage is not what it used to be during the first wave, so you have plenty of available options. If you'd rather, you can also buy fabric and make your own face masks at home, too. Because it's getting cold, warm face masks are a great way to go to help protect you while also keeping you warm. 

What essentials will you be stocking up on possible second COVID wave hits? Let us know in the comments section below!