10 must-have pandemic essentials

3 years ago

No doubt about it: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live life, communicate, get work done, and zone out in front of the TV. It’s also changed what we buy. Here are ten killer products that, in their own special ways, can help you get through some of the new routines forced upon us by this stupid illness.

Cool, clear water | Brita Everyday Pitcher

Bottled water is flying off the shelves at your local retail outlet, and our minds are spinning at the amount of waste that must be generating. So, we’re beating our chest about the usefulness and environmental friendliness of filtering your own tap water, and Brita’s the best-known brand of water filtering equipment in the known world. This filter-pitcher combination purifies 10 cups of water straight from your faucet, sitting quite happily on your refrigerator shelf while treating impurities like shunned family members.

Inside job | PORLAE Ab Exercise Equipment

Pity the poor gym rat, whose very routine has been cast off its axis by the restricted hours of their favorite fitness center. To make things worse, many of them live in tiny, cramped spaces that don’t have room for a gigantic exercise machine. This Porlae device takes care of that conundrum. It’s a complete workout for abs and core, with a strong spring system, resistance bands for every part of your body, and a compact design that lets you store it under your sofa for when company finally drops by in about 8 years or so.

Candid camera | Nexigo AutoFocus 1080p Webcam with Stereo Microphone

Everybody’s working at home these days. That means lots and lots of teleconferencing, with unflattering shots of you sitting behind your workstation where pants are optional. This Nexigo webcam wrests video-making away from your chintzy laptop camera, delivering clear pictures and sound at a distance of up to 3 meters. It’s built for all sorts of video presentations, including webinars, conferences, live streams, brainstorming sessions, and that TED talk on the spiritual aspects of dental flossing you’ve been meaning to get to.

Make those grains | Hamilton Beach 2 Lb Digital Bread Maker

The big winner – forgive the expression – of the pandemic? Sourdough starter. Who could have predicted that amateur bakers would have flocked to their kitchens to bake their own bread in the early days of the COVID crisis? If you’re still behind in your bread-making experience, get up to speed with this all-in-one carb-producing machine from the appliance gods at Hamilton Beach. It’s got 12 preset programs for all sorts of bread: quick bread, French, whole-grain, half-grain, gluten-free, gluten-full, fruit-filled, nut-filled – virtually any jamming of flour and water you can dream up. Including sourdough, of course.

Safety that sparkles | Rhinestone Face Mask

Just because you’re intensely focused on stopping the spread of COVID doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being faaaaabulous. Hot pandemic fashion starts now with this unisex face mask, available in several colors and studded with virus-busting rhinestones. If you must step outside, this face mask says, “I may be focused on pandemic prevention, but I’m still sassy!” Infected moisture droplets practically evaporate the minute they brush against this one-size-fits-all object of bling. This face mask comes straight from the fashion runways of Milan straight to your hideout. It’s sure to turn heads in your direction the next time you’re at the DMV.

You got the touch | No-Touch Door Opener Key

Even in comparatively normal times, door handles are hotbeds for all sorts of ugly bacteria. Viruses and other monsters of infection just lie around, openly mocking your too-eager hand as it slowly approaches its bacterial doom. Show those nasty bits the door with this product, advertised as “The Germaphobe’s Swiss Army Knife.” It allows you to access any simple button, handle, or surface without touching it with your fingers: kitchen sinks, elevator buttons, keypads, toilet flushers, and the like. It even comes with a conducive tip for use on smartphones and tablets, and slips easily into your pocket, purse, or body armor.

Bottoms up | Luxe Neo 120 Bidet

Remember in the early days of the pandemic where we fought each other in the supermarket for that last roll of toilet paper? It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. Thankfully, clearer heads have turned to bidets, ingenious devices that lessen the need for toilet paper by shooting water into your unmentionables after you’ve finished a mass evacuation. The Luxe Neo 120 is the Cadillac of bidets. It fits neatly on the side of any standard-size toilet and includes a “nozzle guard gate” to keep your doodie duty sanitary and safe.

Secret garden | Window Garden Seed Starting Kit

Besides bread, housebound cooks have taken to growing other food and spice items in their own domiciles to avoid going back to the store. There’s no better way to turn your windowsill into a mostly functional greenhouse than this Window Garden kit. It comes with three miniature “greenhouses” that look like high-capacity ice cube trays and is perfect for growing herbs, spices, and microgreens in the safety of your own kitchen, patio, or nook. You can even transplant items that normally grow outside easily, with no sass or backtalk.

This place is a zoo | Animal Crossing: New Horizons

We don’t profess to understand this, but millions of children and adults have made Animal Crossing their go-to video game during the pandemic. “New Horizons” is the fifth entry in the Animal Crossing series. It’s a game for the Nintendo Switch system where you build a small town (it looks like it’s in Florida), shop and mingle with well-meaning animals, and finish all sorts of challenges that must be important to the overall socioeconomic health of the community.

You’re in good hands | Luxton Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispenser

Hand sanitizer is a wonderful substance, but it comes in bottles, which kind of defeats the purpose. Who’s to say that bottle of Supra-Clean Hand Soap hasn’t been picked up and tossed asunder by another pair of virus-infested hands? Nip that problem in the bud with this automatic dispenser specially designed for home use. Simply wave your hand underneath the sensor and sweet, life-giving sanitizer flows forth like Saratoga Springs healing water. Cleanliness never felt so cheap.

About, the all-in-one money savings platform, provides a free cross-platform experience for consumers that combines advanced comparison shoppingcashbackcoupons, price history and price drop alerts. The Company’s patented, AI-powered matching algorithm enables real-time discovery of new, white label, used, local, refurbished, and rental products – taking comparison shopping to new heights. is available as a desktop and mobile websitebrowser extensionnative app and chatbot.

The Company’s core team consists of industry-leading data scientists and data engineers. founder RJ Jain sold his previous company to Google where today it powers Google Test Labs. Previously, he held senior engineering roles at Sidecar (acquired by GM) and Zynga, and served as an in-house Entrepreneur in Residence at Foundation Capital.

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