Many students find themselves in an apartment building during this pandemic. However, there’s only so much you can do to practice physical distancing in an apartment. After all, you might have shared laundry facilities and an elevator to consider. So what can you do to help yourself and those around you during COVID-19?
Wear a Non-Medical Mask in Public Spaces
Due to recent and “emerging information” from the science and medical community, Dr. Theresa Tam stated that wearing a mask can provide an added layer of protection. This can prevent pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.
Therefore, you should find ways to keep your nose and mouth safely covered because this benefits everyone. However, make sure that your mask doesn’t have any gaping holes and don’t fidget with it when in public. These non-medical masks can be made with bandanas, scarves, or even a cotton t-shirt. Learn how to make your own mask here.
Also, it’s important to note that this mask must be removed carefully and placed directly into the wash (or the trash if it cannot be washed). Then thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.
Limit Your Time in Common Spaces
If you don’t need to be there, go home! Physical distancing in an apartment starts with staying inside your apartment. It may be cramped, but it’s the safest place for you and your neighbours. Don’t risk unnecessary exposure.
Use Amenities During Low Traffic Times
Basically, use laundry facilities, check for mail, and drop off garbage/recycling when neighbours are not present in the room. Or, if they are, make sure you can keep two metres of distance between yourself and them.
Greet People With a Friendly Wave
Now is not the time for a hardy handshake or even a friendly fist bump. This doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly. Just be friendly from a safe distance.
Many people are concerned about using elevators right now, but they’re necessary to get groceries and check your mail. If the stairs aren’t an option, take the elevator when no one else is riding it. If this also isn’t an option, then hopefully you have your non-medical mask on and can keep as far away from the other person as possible.
Hand Sanitizer, Gloves, and Disinfectant Wipes
When you’re riding in the elevator, make sure to keep your hands clean. If you can wipe down the buttons with a Lysol wipe before you press anything, go for it. If you have sanitizer to clean your hands after, use it. Have latex gloves you can discard in the garbage after using? Do that instead. Do whatever you can to keep your hands and the elevator clean!
Wash Your Hands
As soon as you return to your apartment, wash your hands thoroughly. Remember, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and rinse well. Even change your clothes and put them directly in the wash, if possible.
We’re all in this together. There’s no need to be rude to others because you are afraid or frustrated. If we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, then things will go back to normal soon.
Already conquered physical distancing in an apartment? Looking for more information during this pandemic? Check out 5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System During COVID-19.
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.