As a parent, I’m not sure I could really pin point one milestone of my children’s lives that stands out as being the most “major.” They all seem major to me. Lord knows I’ve done my best to document each significant (and even insignificant) occurrence. And too, I’m like most parents where I’m biased. My children are brilliant, beautiful, and I feel they have truly hung the moon; except when they talk back, undermine me and leave their wet towels in a heap on their bedroom floor.
But I’ve digressed.
Summer is winding down, and the COVID pandemic is still looming. We have a couple weeks left before school starts and the thought of establishing a routine is ever-present. College procedures still need to be ironed out, checklists have to be made, and supplies need to be purchased. Helping your college-bound student pack for college is challenging under “normal” conditions, but during the COVID pandemic is a whole other ball of wax.
Though my children have a couple years before college decisions come into play, I couldn’t help but think about those parents who are sending their kids off for the first time, or even second or more. There are new items to be added to the college checklist that haven’t been there before. Things like an emergency COVID-19 quarantine bag, or go-bag, is on the packing list. It’s a good idea to pack this bag incase your child has to isolate or enter quarantine on campus for 14 days. Be prepared.
So yes, stress levels are high. Unless all is written down, trying to remember everything is way too monumental. In honor of those parents sending their child / children off to college, I thought I would put together an essential college packing checklist, including a full list of what should be included in a COVID go-bag.
Packing smart is crucial. It’s tough to cram the past 18 years of their life on a roof rack. That can’t happen. Gone are the days of carrying boxes full of dictionaries and thesauruses. Now, it’s all about laptops, tablets, smart phones and comfortable chairs; chargers, power strips, wifi and passwords, a microwave and a mini fridge. Masks, anti bacterial wipes and sanitizers, a face shield, a COVID go-bag, and a whole lot of common sense.
Every college and university has a unique plan in dealing with and handling COVID-19. It is best to check with your university’s website to confirm plans that they are putting in place. Many schools have already started back, but have had to abruptly close because of growing cases. This is where the COVID-19 go-bag becomes essential. Having a pre-packed quarantine bag ready is so much easier than asking for the panicked roommate to grab things for you, and will be more thought-out rather than tossing things in a bag. I did a little research and here is a list of what most hospitals and universities are recommending to pack in the COVID–19 go bag.
- Computer and charger
- Extra cell phone charger
- List of important people and their contact numbers, written out
- List of any allergies (food and meds) written out
- Two or more extra changes of comfortable clothes ie: sweats, T-shirts, PJ’s, fuzzy socks, and undergarments
- Extra set of sheets
- Personal hygiene products (soap, deodorant, tooth brush and toothpaste)
- Hair supplies (shampoo, conditioner, brush, etc.)
- Cough drops
- Vinamin C
- Vicks VapoRub
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen (for fever and body aches)
- Prescription medications (optional Mucinex DM, Robitussim DM for cough and chest congestion)
- Refillable water bottle
- Tea bags with honey (warmth helps open the airways)
- Powdered gatorade to mix in water
- Hand sanitizer
- Entertainment – a book, magazines, maybe a deck of cards
The over-the-counter medications on this list are recommended to include in the bag, but make sure and check with medical personnel before taking.
Most colleges are asking for students to be prepared and pack a COVID go-bag to have at the ready. Some are not only asking, but requiring. The bag needs to be easily transported, yet big enough to pack all of the essentials listed above, allowing for a 14 day quarantine.
Be prepared! If it’s feasible, a university’s plans include quarantine and isolation accommodations using a mixture of on and off campus facilities. Check your college’s website for specifics. In the meantime, make sure your child has packed this emergency COVID-19 quarantine go-bag. Fingers crossed, they’ll not need to use it.
Stay safe, my sweet friends.