I like to think of myself as a chess player. Okay, I don’t enjoy playing chess, I don’t even remember how to play chess….but the simple strategy of thinking 3 moves ahead (though a grandmaster chess player thinks 15 moves ahead) is something that I adapt both in business and home management. 

In addition to juggling Steamy Kitchen business by myself (I employ 4 part-time people), I’m a single mom to two boys and a dog. I must stay 3 steps ahead, especially during an economic crash and health pandemic. 

Right now, on Wednesday evening, March 18, 2020, here are the things I’ve been getting to stay 3 steps ahead, while everyone in my household is still healthy (and while these products are still available in the stores and on Amazon.)

A Good Humidifier

Ask yourself, if I got the flu really badly, what would I need? Or, what would I need to prevent the flu and stay healthy?

One of the symptoms of the virus is a dry cough. A good humidifier with a cool mist will help soothe your congested chest and help you breathe better. 

I did my research. This Honeywell humidifier is the top pick from Wirecutter, Women’s Health, Popular Mechanics and Prevention Magazine. The UV technology kills up to 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and virus in the unit’s water. 

I’m also giving one away, if you are interested in entering the giveaway. 

Neti Pot

I have a love-hate relationship with this device. It’s good for you, but it feels soooooo weird. When the boys were little, I tried so hard to get them to use the neti-pot whenever they were feeling sick. Nope. Nope. Nope.

BUT – we’re in a bit of a health crisis here. The neti-pot is all-natural, no-medicine way to keep your sinuses clean and healthy. If you’re already sick, the neti-pot will help clear the mucus. 

Plus, this woman in Seattle who recently recovered swears by the neti pot (as well as Sudafed and Afrin)

Get a neti pot. You can find one for as little as $13 and a fancy one that’s battery operated for $90 (powered suction!) But please make sure you use filtered or distilled water….don’t irrigate your nose with tap water, or you could be introducing other nasties into your nose.

The pre-mixed packets are worth the $13 for a pack of 100 (these packets do not work with the fancy pants Navage unit)

Sterilizing UV Box

A few years ago, I reviewed a new product called the Phone Soap that uses UV light to sanitize your phone.  It’s a silly name for a product that I so wish that I had right now (I gave away the Phone Soap prior to moving…wahhhhh)

Two weeks ago, I bought a UV sterlization bag, which is large enough to sterlize my phone, keys, wallet, and other doo-dads all at the same time. Unfortunately, I just looked, and there aren’t many left. Try also searching UV box, UV bag, UV wand

If you get a “UV Wand” – a product that claims it can sterilize and disinfect with just a simple wave. It does not work this way effectively. For the UV to destroy germs, bacteria and viruses, your stuff needs prolonged exposure to the UV light, in an enclosed, dark, covered space (where the UV light cannot escape). If you buy a UV wand, put the wand in a small, enclosed box or bag lined with a couple layers of tin foil to prevent the UV light from escaping (and normal light from coming in).

Other products you can search for – 

UV sanitizing products for jewelry, for manicure tools/hairdresser tools.  

Compressed Oxygen Canisters

Last year, my women’s tennis league traveled to Colorado to play in the championships. A few of the women (we’re all 40 years and older) purchased canned oxygen in case the high altitude affected them. 

Oxygen boost is non-prescription, 95% pure compressed oxygen made for fitness in high altitudes, exercise recovery, focus/concentration. It’s made for recreational use, not medical use. If you feel like you need medical attention and have difficulty breathing, call a doctor or 911. 

However, after reading about symptoms of the virus (shortness of breath, coughing), and seeing report after report of projected medical supply shortages, I purchased some of this compressed oxygen to possibly relieve symptoms. I’m not telling you this will replace an oxygen machine, which is 99% oxygen (it won’t) but it may just give you a little boost and provide relief. Again, if you need medical attention, please get it. Do not rely on a recreational product. 

The larger cans of 22oz provide 120-150 uses of 1-second bursts.

You can find Oxygen Boost on Amazon, REI and Dicks Sporting Goods

Face Steamer

Okay, so this face steamer is normally used for at-home facials, but it’s a hot steamer! If the virus hates heat, let’s give it heat. Seriously, steam in your face may help your dry cough, congestion, stuff nose….whatever flu or cold like symptom you have. Plus, soft skin. The end. 

Air Purifier

If the virus causes respiratory issues, I want to be breathing in clean, clear air. We love the Venta Air Washer (in addition to getting a unit to review, I purchased 3 other units….however….ugh….somehow during the move, they all mysteriously disappeared (double waaaahhh)

The Venta is a 2-in-1: humidifier and purifier. They are expensive $299 for a smaller unit. They are made in Germany, and I will wring the neck of whoever stole my airwashers!! (grrrrrr)

  • PROS: They work like crazy – during allergy season, the water in the unit is yellow from the pollen in the air! Dump out the water and refill.
  • CONS: Pain in the butt to clean and refill with water.

Last week, I purchased the Coway Airmega air purifier and a Blueair 211 based on Wirecutter’s recommendations

Other things

  • Cough drops, Vicks vapor rub, Peppermint/Eucalyptus essential oils.
  • Shower Steamers – aromatherapy shower bombs with eucalyptus and peppermint (or you can make your own) 

Stay safe and stay healthy, my friends!! -Jaden