Doomsday Preppers are feeling righteous now. And, well, rightfully so. They shopped and assessed and quietly squirreled away their acorns while we laughed at their paranoia. The so called “Survivalists” have been stockpiling for decades and now is their moment to unroll the thermal bedding and unpack the can openers in purpose built bunkers. They are a clever lot. And prescient.

Keeping cosy with coffee & a good book. Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

For everyone else it’s been a mad dash to the Bodega/Whole Foods Market/Waitrose/Woollies or crap overpriced corner shop that unfortunately smells like mice. But…do you even like baked beans? I don’t. It depends how you view necessity. I see the shelves emptying of tinned tomatoes and bland spaghetti. The loo paper is back but the ready meals are like gold dust. I can subsist without frozen lasagne but if I run dry of French Earl Grey or Iris bulb perfume I might perish, metaphorically speaking.

Hyper sensuality aside it IS actually time to think and act quickly to anticipate the prospect of being home bound for a whole season…or two.

Governments are chastising citizens for stockpiling but the simple fact some stuff is running out. Because of demand. Because of supply. And maybe just because of the pressures on retailers once lockdowns become more comprehensive. This might apply especially to meds. I have been to three different chemists to get my medication and each one said it was the last box. Ummm…there are also many items you need and don’t think about at all, like  cotton buds, contraceptives, recycled printing paper, good black pens and tampons.

There are vital things that will boost your immunity (crucially) and the many highly esoteric things that just make you feel a bit happier when staying home for three months or more. I think all three are important. Your list is a snapshot of your life, the stuff you can’t live without and the stuff that perhaps you forgot you needed. Here (excluding the pantry) is mine…


  • Liquid vitamin C, Zinc/Floradix/Olive Leaf Extract/Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oil/Echinacea IN QUANTITY…Manuka honey and turmeric paste and LOTS of ginger (I think you can freeze it)
  • As much beautiful uplifting and pretty soap as you can afford

Essential oils for the nerves, bath & floors! Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

  • Orange neroli oil for the floors
  • Ylang Ylang oil for the bath
  • Lavender oil for the nerves (dilute all three and make a room spray)
  • Rotating library of books/music/clothes to share among friends …because: NO SHOPPING
  • Your Prescription Medication if needed (check with your Dr or Pharmacist about how many months to stock up on)
  • Bible/Talmud/Sutras/Keats
  • Incense, to sanctify a house you are seeing too much of
  • Pretty bedding and super lovely embroidered pillowcases
  • Pot planted flowers, indoor herbs, wheat grass kit, terrarium, feel good cactus…and RED CHILLIES as they are so bloody good for you

Pouring tea from tea pot. Photo by Loverna Journey on Unsplash

  • A shit load of tea in exotic, healing and decadent variety
  • Creative light sources: funny night light, scented candles, proper candles, coloured candles, tea lights
  • Equipment to make pod casts (huge)
  • Coffee in the freezer (for God sake)
  • Wine (for heavens sake)
  • Pyjamas, really nice ones, and a stupid ONESIE for your V-Log!
  • Black lace tights because at least once I want to get dressed for “work”
  • DVDs / remember them? (See cheesy fitness below)*
  • Camera with film, in case the CLOUD explodes
  • Damp rid (imagine the mould swallowing you whole)
  • White miso  (The base of every great soup on earth)
  • Amusing socks
  • Two extra bottles of perfume

Tins of sardines in shop window. Photo by Chris King on Unsplash

  • 36 tins of Portuguese sardines
  • Lemon juice (Frozen in batches)
  • 12 Size 4 paintbrushes
  • A very big creative diary
  • For Cheesy Fitness sessions: Over the top legwarmers, metallic leggings, huge scrunchy, headband and 80s leotards to reconnect you to retro Jane Fonda DVDs
  • Software to write a film script/novel/TV Pilot…because now the excuses are GONE
  • A comprehensive WHOLEFOOD BAKING COOKBOOK because now you have literally weeks to nail it…

Salad cookbook with salad. Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash


  • VEGGO COOKBOOK…Because meat and dairy are being hunted and emptied so perhaps it’s a good time to become a vegan or at least MEET a lentil
  • Playlists to share with your friends on a weekly basis, for all the music festivals and live gigs that have been cancelled all over the world
  • One pair of black satin big girl knickers, a baby doll slip and a pair of opaque black stay up stockings for reading Sagan while eating the lentils

Now it’s time to write your list! Share with us in the comments section the essentials that you’ll be gathering to help you through.

Anna Johnson

About Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson is a writer who draws. She grew up in New York and lived there for a long time eventually publishing five best selling books and illustrating three of them. We met in our days as magazine journalists and later as creative colloborators on The Girls Night In book series (Anna did the covers) and the joyfully and richly illustrated book "Holiday Goddess". Anna paints with a size 4 paintbrush on French art paper. Her signature artworks fuse botany and vintage fashion elements. Being a Pisces (with a Scorpio moon) she understands the nebulous movement of watercolour and attests that mistakes guide her to making better pictures. Anna is currently writing and illustrating a children's book, forging a fashion blog ( and selling original artwork and exquisite art prints from her own site, She lives in Sydney with a burmese cat called Arkie, a Capricorn daughter, a Cancerian son and a tall quiet Taurus.