Living with a roommate in a shared condo setup demands more proactive ways to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. Now that restrictions in different areas in the Philippines have started to relax, perhaps some of your roommates also have been more lenient and forgetful of important health safety protocols that everyone needs to follow.
Dealing with different kinds of roommates is especially difficult if the person doesn’t take things seriously. A condo-sharing setup will only work if everyone is mindful of their responsibilities.
If you’re unsure about your health safety house rules in your shared condo, then check the following suggestions to boost your protection and security from the virus:
1. Have a designated disinfection area at the entrance
The best way to protect a shared condo space is by preventing the virus from entering your household in the first place. Safeguard your home by designating a disinfection area by the entrance inside your unit.
Place a disinfecting floor mat by the door so it would be the first thing people go through before entering. Health Canada has published an approved list of decontaminating solutions you can pour in your floor mat. Bleach and iodine solutions can kill bacteria but it’s still best to avoid them because these can stain your floor.
Having an alcohol station to immediately disinfect the hands of each tenant in your shared condo also helps to minimize the spread of the virus and other germs in contact. It’s also good practice for everyone to wash their hands properly with soap as soon as they get home. You can never be too lax when it comes to health especially when you share a condo with others.
Additionally, make sure that you also disinfect delivered parcels before bringing them inside the house.
2. Have a dedicated task to each individual in the household
Surely by now you’re well aware of the pros and cons of having a roommate in your condo. While there are those individuals who just get on your nerves, there are those who are keepers and care about everyone’s safety as much as you do.
The best part of having a responsible roomie is that you can divide tasks and responsibilities among yourselves. This dramatically reduces the chance of an accidental infection because it places everyone in an active position to protect your shared living space.
For instance, create a resolution that everyone should wash their own dishes for the time being. This forces everyone to not leave dishes sitting by the sink which invites germs and bacteria.
Everyone should follow a rotating schedule in cleaning different areas of the unit.Target common areas such as the kitchen, the dining room, and most importantly, the bathroom. Temporary disallow anyone from leaving their personal hygiene kits to avoid accidentally swapping bar soaps.
If possible, designate an individual who will be tasked to run errands. Each individual would have to give their own grocery list to this person so he/she would just get them in one grocery run. It’s especially important for everyone to avoid unnecessarily going outside if it could be helped.
3. Label personal belongings especially high-touch items
Keep your shared condo living stress-free by labeling personal items that might accidentally be picked up by someone else. This means storing your own personal spoon and fork and dining plate so your roommates won’t mistake these as theirs.
Although these are not personal belongings, other high-touch items that you also need to remember are the following:
- Sink faucets and knobs
- Light switches
- Dining chairs
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- TV remote controls
- Game controllers
Maximize safety by regularly disinfecting these items, especially if it can’t be helped for each individual to use these items such as the toilet and light switches.
4. Limit the number of people in an area at a time
Come up with a schedule with your roommates that indicates the time they can make use of a particular area in your shared condo to limit the physical contact of individuals in the household.
Avoid eating together in the dining room, or lounging as a group to binge-watch films and TV series in the living room. If it can be done, do not share one bedroom especially if one of your is high risk and prone to infection.
5. Regularly empty the trash bin
Keep germs and bacteria from breeding in your own living space by regularly taking out the trash. Remember that used personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as face masks may be considered toxic medical waste so do not just leave them by the kitchen counter or sitting on the top of your bed.
Be responsible enough to clean after yourself as it’s also a way to respect your roommates who are doing their best to keep everyone safe.
6. Communication is key
Above everything else, communicating with every individual in a shared condo unit is important to ensure that each safety protocol is followed. You are all captains and sailors in this ship and everyone needs to be aware of their responsibilities to continually sail smoothly through these rough times.
Gently remind a roommate about their responsibilities instead of shaming them in front of others, or talking behind their backs. One could never know what a person is going through, and perhaps this person may be dealing with a difficult loss.
Always ask for permission with your roommates if you’re going to invite friends and family members over to visit, especially if they will be coming from a different city or province. Yes, you might trust these individuals but letting your roommates know that there are people coming is a great way to give them a heads up. It’s also not a bad idea to require visitors to wear facemasks while inside your shared condo.
Let others know if you’re headed outside for non-essential reasons such as staying in a cafe or dining outside with a romantic partner. Safety is paramount and you don’t want to be the patient zero that would put your roommates in trouble, would you?
Finally, know when it’s time to talk to a roommate who’s failed to follow protocols every time. Remind them of the importance of these tasks because one misstep could potentially jeopardize the situation of everyone inside the condo.
Equally important is being open to accepting criticisms and reminders from your roommates if you forget to abide by the house rules sometimes.
Keeping a shared condo unit safe for each individual requires team effort. While this list of tasks may be daunting for a new tenant, there’s always a great way to welcome them to the team so they can feel comfortable and at home.
Always remember that you can keep yourself safe by protecting everyone in your shared living space.