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So you think you have COVID-19: here’s how to keep your roommates safe

It’s quite common for college students to split the rent with our peers. However in the age of COVID-19, additional housemates can allow for an increased risk in contracting the illness. I had suspected that I caught the illness when I had traveled back for school, causing concern over spreading it to my roommates. After four days of isolation, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that may prevent the spread to your fellow housemates. 

Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation!

If the weather permits it, pop open those windows! Having fresh air in your space will freshen up your isolation room while simultaneously decreasing the chance of any pathogens spreading via air transmission. If it’s too cold outside in your area, bathroom fans are a lifesaver for preventing stagnant air.

Keep that shared bathroom clean!

Sometimes living situations result in all members of a household sharing one bathroom, which can increase the anxiety of transmission. In addition to keeping the bathroom fan on as much as possible, wash your hands before touching any shared surfaces in the room. Before flushing the toilet, close the lid to limit particle spread. Use toilet paper to touch the shared handle, then wash your hands. By using all precautions while doing your business, both your roommates and yourself will have comfort knowing that precautions are in place to limit spread. 

Keep your snacks close!

The one thing I miss most during isolation is being able to cook stress-free. Now it seems that each food-run to the kitchen should be completed as quickly as possible, limiting the risk of transmission via shared spaces and appliances. By rearranging my desk as a mini-pantry, I can grab snacks without the need to leave isolation.

Find alternative ways to communicate.

Isolation can make you realize how dependent you are on social communication, which can take a toll on your mental health. Thankfully with the use of technology, there are many ways to keep in touch without the need to put others at risk. FaceTime and Zoom meetings allow you to stay in touch with others outside of your household, while smart home devices allow you to have efficient communication with fellow roommates. 

While it can be a stressful time for many, incorporating these tips into your everyday routine can calm the anxiety while keeping others protected. Stay safe out there!

Sources:

​​https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/self-isolation

Savannah is currently in her third year at Uvic, majoring in English and Business. When not swamped with studying, she can be found exploring downtown, drinking way too much coffee, reading, and enjoying the experiences UVic has to offer.
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