How will Coronavirus affect renter life? What can you do as a renter to stay safe in your home?

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) officially termed the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic.  The number of confirmed cases in the United States is growing each day. Now is the time for all of us to play our part in minimizing the virus’ spread.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has put together fact-based guidance to assist all of us in planning, preparation, and responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Remember, the most common way to contract the virus is through person-to-person contact.  It is less likely for someone to become infected by touching an object on which the virus has landed. As such, we all have the ability to control potential exposure.

As a renter, you most likely reside in one of these types of living situations: 

  1. large apartment community
  2. rental cluster of 2-12 units
  3. single family home

Following are some additional factors to consider as a renter living through Coronavirus.

LARGE APARTMENT COMMUNITY & RENTAL CLUSTER OF 2-12 UNITS

Communal spaces are common in these types of settings.  The amount of traffic and human interaction will vary based on how many residents your community serves.  

Spots Requiring Touch: Entry & Exit Doors, Keypads for Garage / Parking Access, Mail Receptacles

If your building doesn’t have automatic doors, you may have to touch that dreaded door handle.  Go ahead. Just be sure that after you do so, you wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  And, before you get to that sink or pump that gel, don’t touch your face.

Elevators

These are small spaces that can at times require people to stand shoulder to shoulder.  If you are in good health, now is a good time to get in your extra steps by taking the stairs.  Of course if you live on the 34th floor, that’s a lot of steps. So, if you have to use the elevator, after you press the button to call it, and the button to designate your destination floor, wash or disinfect your hands.  If you have to cough or sneeze while on your ride, do everyone at your sides a favor and do so in your elbow, or better yet, if wearing a shirt that you can pull over your nose and mouth, bury it in there. Coronavirus is affecting renter life, but with these extra precautions, you’re safety will be heightened.

Gyms & Laundry Facilities

Clothes are still going to need to be washed, and if you’re now working from home, you might need a quick jog on the treadmill to maintain some peace of mind in that head of yours.  Just be extra mindful of all the touch points. The virus can’t walk or jump. If it landed somewhere, it’s going to sit there waiting for transport. That is – your hand. And even then, it’s gotta find its way to your eyes, nose, or mouth to gain entry into that body of yours.  So, don’t let it.  

Think of your actions as a series of movements with embedded washing/disinfecting breaks.  Like this: 1) leave apartment with laundry basket and detergent, 2) open door to laundry room, 3), open washer, 4) put clothes in washer, 5) close washer, 6) fill coin slot, 7) push in coin slot, 8) now – go wash hands.

Pay Attention

You know that mail you get from your on site community team that you usually toss into your circular file?  Now’s the time to actually read it. Property management companies are taking this seriously. They don’t want their residents to get sick, nor their employees.  Here is a great article that outlines what’s at the top of their minds and how their supporting renter life amid Coronavirus.

SINGLE FAMILY HOME

While renters in this type of scenario don’t need to concern themselves with proximity to common areas with lots of people traffic, it also means that you’re most likely on your own when it comes to planning, preparing, and responding to Coronavirus and renter life.

Here’s what every renter should do within their own home:

  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially upon entering your home
  2. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
  3. Minimize touching your face
  4. Have some extra (not excessive) food and supplies on hand in case you need to self quarantine
  5. Keep surfaces clean and disinfect as needed
  6. If you become sick, call your doctor first

Each of us have different ways of reacting to challenges.  While to some this is not a big deal, to others, becoming sick with Covid-19 could have dire implications.  We have the opportunity to work together as a human race to reduce, and maybe even stop, this virus from spreading.  We need each other now more than ever.

Do Well and Do Good.

Check out these other COVID19 related articles.