coronavirus quarantine and lockdown tips: how to stay healthy, shop for groceries, stay well fed, and stock your pantry

Several months into the coronavirus pandemic, we’re pretty well versed in pantry cooking and online grocery orders, but it’s still an uncertain time. We’ve seen lockdowns lift (and schools reopen) only to lead to spikes in cases, and the virus is still a serious threat, which is why we’re continuing to update this guide with relevant information.

From advice on when and how to wash and wear masks to the new rules of restaurant dining, we’ll bring you updated details as they emerge, and maintain an archive of all our other COVID-19 content, from ways to keep snacking under control to what to use when you’re out of flour—because, frankly, they’re always good things to know.

Back to school season is officially here, though what exactly that means varies widely depending on where you are; we’ve rounded up the best places to buy kids’ face masks online along with other advice to make the transition smoother.

While fall is firmly on the horizon too (hello, virtual Oktoberfest), you can still check out our summer staycation guide for a taste of travel while an actual vacation is off the table. And as cooler weather brings us all back into the kitchen, we shared our favorite pantry staples from the past few months guaranteed to liven up all your meals.

When you want to venture out, here are places to safely pick apples and pumpkins this autumn.

You’ll also find other ways to support local restaurants where they’re still not open for normal business, how to help more community members, and where to find food assistance yourself if you need it. Plus, ways to keep yourself (and your kids) occupied and help manage stress. It’s all useful information even in the best of times, and we hope it helps ease any anxiety—and restlessness—you may be feeling at the moment.

You can use the links to jump to a specific section, or keep scrolling to see everything:

What to Know When Lockdown Ends

how to eat in restaurants during and after coronavirus lockdown ends: new rules of restaurant dining

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In areas where stay-at-home restrictions are lifting, it’s only natural to want to get outside—and to be hesitant about it too. Here, some timely topics that might be on your mind:

What to Stock Up On

how to stock pantry

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What to Cook

chole masala (Indian chickpeas)


Related Reading: Eating Kimchi and Sauerkraut Could Help Stave Off COVID-19

What & How to Clean

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  • Safe Ways to Make Disinfectant at Home – If the store is out of commercial disinfectant wipes or cleaners, here’s what you can use to make them at home—plus the one thing you must never do when DIY’ing these.
  • How to Clean Your Phone Screen – You touch it all the time, which means it needs regular cleaning, but you don’t want to disinfect it with something that might ruin it either.

What Online Delivery Services to Use

Amazon Fresh and other online grocery delivery options

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  • Our Favorite Grocery, Pantry & Food Delivery Options – If you can’t get to the store, you can have almost anything delivered; these are our top choices for delivery and subscription services of all sorts. Update: Due to the unprecedented increase in demand, some of these services are currently experiencing delays and some are not accepting new orders, but the situation changes daily.
  • Where to Buy Fruit & Vegetable Plants Online – Or, if you want to grow your own but your local nursery is closed (or you’re simply wary of going), there are plenty of places to buy starter plants and seedlings online.
  • Meat Delivery & Subscription Options – Whether you don’t have a local source of great, organic meat and poultry or you’re just finding it hard to come by right now, there are several meat delivery options to try.

What Else You Can Do

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  • Help Support Food Justice – Food insecurity has been a major issue in America (and elsewhere) for a long time, and the pandemic has only exacerbated it. So if you have the means, here are some more ways you can help others.

Keep tabs on the latest COVID-19 coverage on CBS Interactive’s sister sites:

Travel Plans Cancelled?

See Our Ultimate Summer Staycation Guide

Header image courtesy of Panudda Saengsuwan / EyeEm / Getty Images

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