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With trains and flights cancelled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in India, people staying away from home may be left with no option, other than to continue living in their rented accommodations. What remains a major worry, especially for residents in shared accommodations, is how to ensure hygiene and cleanliness for themselves in a community living set-up, at a time when social distancing has become a norm to overcome COVID-19 and control further spread of the disease.
How to ensure your safety when staying in a Co-living/PG?
Staying in a shared community is difficult during these times and there is little one can do but to maintain personal hygiene and follow safety protocols, to keep yourself and others safe. Follow these tips, to maintain a safe environment for everybody-
- Cover your mouth with your elbow, while coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap, for at least 20 seconds.
- Seek medical attention immediately, if you have flu symptoms.
- Stay vigilant and report to the facility manager/owner if somebody has flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid venturing out to crowded places.
- Ask your property manager/landlord if there is any doctor available on-call. Keep the number handy, in case of emergency.
- Keep a sanitiser handy, whenever going to common spaces for meals.
- Spray alcohol-based sanitiser on your couriers/packages.
- Avoid going to common areas if you have flu symptoms. If it becomes extremely necessary, wear a mask.
While co-living and paying-guest accommodations have facility staff to fulfil your day-to-day needs, shared apartments may be more difficult to manage, as you have to do everything by yourself. Follow these tips if you stay in a co-living/PG accommodation:
- Ask the housekeeping staff to change the sheets frequently.
- Clean the doorknobs and other things, which are touched frequently, with disinfectants or sanitisers.
- Sanitise your devices such as laptops, mobiles, etc., on a daily basis.
- Prefer drinking warm water. Make sure your water bottle is cleaned daily.
- Ask the cleaners to wear masks and gloves, while cleaning your space.
- Avoid using and touching the common facilities.
Follow these tips if you stay in shared apartments:
- House helps are more prone to flu symptoms as they have to venture out to visit multiple households. Make sure you provide them with sanitisers and liquid soap, to keep themselves clean all the time. Their hygiene is your hygiene.
- If you are working from home, make sure you are stocked up, in terms of essential grocery items.
- If you are cooking for yourself and others, make sure all the vegetables are cleaned thoroughly. You can also soak them in warm water before chopping them.
- Cleaning commonly used items such as the sitting area, balcony railings, kitchen cabinet handles, water purifier taps, TV remote, landline, switchboard, etc., is the most important thing. Sanitise everything on a regular basis.
- Try getting essential commodities, such as groceries, medicines and dairy products, delivered to the house, rather than going out to buy it yourself.
How to maintain hygiene when sharing a room in a PG?
- Request your roommate to practice hygiene and wash hands frequently.
- Maintain a minimum 4-metre distance from each other.
- Do not share towels. Use your personal towels for drying your face and hands.
- If your roommate has flu symptoms, reach out to the nearest doctor. Take proper precautions for yourself, which includes wearing masks and gloves when taking care of him/her.
- Change your bedsheets and towels frequently.
- Mop the floor with disinfectant or phenyl, whichever is available. You can also use Dettol liquid.
- If possible, get yourself a single sharing room. Many co-living providers are considering such requests.
What if your roommate is an essential service provider?
If your roommate is employed in any essential service sector, which includes aviation, medicine, media, FMCG, etc., you need to understand that venturing out is not a choice but a duty. If shifting to a single-sharing room is not an option for you or your roommate, you can still stay together by following certain precautions.
- Monitor your body temperature on a daily basis and avoid close contact with each other.
- If either of you develops flu symptoms, report to your respective employer and consult a doctor immediately.
- Ensure intake of healthy food to boost immunity.
- Clean commonly used things, such as the TV remote, switch boards, doorknobs, drawers, wardrobe, chairs, tables, etc., with sanitiser/disinfectant on a daily basis.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, fever, tiredness and difficulty in breathing in severe cases.
How to stay safe from Coronavirus?
The best way to prevent Coronavirus is to maintain social distancing and to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.