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Are you prepared for the next wave of COVID-19?

Now is the time to stock pantries, medicine cabinets

How many rolls of toilet paper do you have? What about maintenance medications you take on a routine basis? And how well stocked is your food pantry?

These are important considerations to stay on top of in the weeks and months ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold the nation hostage with anticipation of a second wave this fall.

“The second act is coming,” warns Dr. Gerald Maloney, chief medical officer of hospital services at Geisinger. “We don’t know exactly what is going to happen. Preparing for a second wave is prudent at this time.”

This is good advice that everyone should take to heart.

Who knew exactly what was going to happen as we rang in the year 2020 back in December?

Who would have expected a pandemic that would wipe away 706,000 lives worldwide as of Thursday?

Nearly one quarter of those deaths due to the coronavirus — 159,000 — have been recorded in the United States, where there have been 4.83 million confirmed cases and 2.37 million recoveries.

The number of cases likely is much higher due to those who contracted the coronavirus early on, survived it and wrote it off as a really bad flu.

So, what will the next wave look like?

We do not have the answer to that, but we share concern about the future.

To our advantage, we can learn from our shared experience so far this year.

We can wear masks. We can wash our hands. We can socially distance ourselves from one another.

And we can get ready.

While we brace for the worst, we should continue to hope for the best.

If that means our pantries, medicine cabinets and our bathroom shelves are fully stocked with a surplus in the basement, we are less likely to find ourselves running out of essential supplies as winter hits.

That cannot be a bad thing.

Just remember to freeze some bread and milk, too, to avoid that grocery store rush when the snow starts to fall.

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