In brief

  • Some supermarkets have introduced restrictions on certain products to curb panic-buying in the face of the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Online stores accepting Bitcoin are selling some key supplies.
  • One Hong Kong business purchased a bulk order of protective masks from a Russian medical supplies wholesaler using Bitcoin.

As the coronavirus sweeps the world, countries are resorting to drastic measures to halt its spread. China and Italy have imposed lockdowns, those showing symptoms are being encouraged to self-isolate, and supermarkets are facing shortages as shoppers ignore government advice not to panic-buy. Fortunately, there are plenty of other places to stock up on essential supplies, using your hard-earned Bitcoin. 

Toilet paper

Image: Newegg

In supermarkets across the globe, the shelves have been emptied of toilet paper; retailers in the US, Canada and the UK have had to limit purchases. Fortunately, Newegg.com has your back, with this 24-pack of the finest 2-ply. Each roll is 573ft long, giving you a generous 13,000ft of paper to work with. Crypto fans can pay in Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

Face masks

Image: Medprep.ru

Face masks are essential for medical personnel as they battle the coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped the public stocking up—even as health officials plead with them not to purchase them

With supplies running short in East Asia, one enterprising business owner recently used Bitcoin to purchase a bulk order of face masks from Russian medical wholesale supplier Fenix Group, paying in Bitcoin. The transaction took 30 minutes, with a transfer fee of just $10. “In addition to challenging logistics issues, organizations and institutions occupied in face masks import encounter the challenge of international money transfers. Bitcoin is to break the deadlock once again,” the company said in a statement.

DIY hand sanitizer

You can make your own hand sanitizer (Image: Shutterstock)

Hand sanitizer is in particularly short supply at the moment, with UK supermarkets forced to ration supplies. In the US, New York State is making its own supplies to meet demand. 

While hand sanitizer is out of stock everywhere, you could try making your own by mixing isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel, both of which can be had from Overstock.com. Overstock accepts Bitcoin for both domestic US and international orders.

Of course, soap is still the recommended go-to; for a touch of class, you could try gourmet soap manufacturer Lush, which accepts Bitcoin, or show your allegiance to your crypto of choice with Bitsoaps, which come emblazoned with Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum icons.

Rations

A MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) pack (Image: Shutterstock)

If you’re forced to self-isolate, heading down to the the supermarket for canned food isn’t an option. No, what you need are MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat); the all-in-one military ration packs beloved of survivalists and doomsday preppers. They’ve got more calories than you could possibly need (enough for a route march carrying a massive pack, never mind sitting in your room playing Call of Duty). And, yes, there are stores online that will accept your Bitcoin. 

 

Survival Camping Store will hook you up with a case of 12 MREs, including such delights as meatloaf with gravy, sloppy joes and vegetable lasagna. And you get a 5% discount for buying with Bitcoin!