New cases of COVID-19 infections are being confirmed every day, and the outbreak has already disrupted lives (including relocation plans) of hundreds of thousands of Americans. One of the most effective ways to prevent the further spreading of the pandemic is the practice of social distancing. But how does one battle coronavirus when living in a multigenerational household and having to explain the gravity of the situation to your offspring and your elderly alike.
What Is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause a wide array of illnesses. This is not the first time humanity is facing a coronavirus – SARS and MERS were also caused by different types of coronavirus. The type we are battling today is called Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19.
It mostly causes respiratory problems, which is why some of its most common symptoms are coughing and heavy breathing. Other symptoms, according to the World Health Organization, include high fever and shortness of breath, while more severe cases may experience pneumonia and kidney failure.
What Is Social Distancing and How Does it Help?
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is most likely to spread through direct physical contact and respiratory droplets. When it comes to such diseases, one of the best ways to fight the spreading (and protect the older generations, which are most vulnerable) is social distancing. But what does social distancing mean, exactly?
Social distancing is the act of reducing close physical contact between people. On the community level, it includes limiting events with large groups of attendees and closing down institutions frequented by high numbers of people, such as schools or gyms. On the individual level, it includes avoiding using public transportation, not traveling, working from home, and not going to crowded places.
Social Distancing and Battling Coronavirus in a Multigenerational Household
On paper, social distancing sounds pretty simple: don’t interact with people and stay away from crowded spaces. But what if you’ve switched to remote work and your home is a crowded space itself? The number of multigenerational households has been on the rise in the past decade. If you share your home with several generations of your family, you’re not the only one wondering how to battle COVID-19 most effectively. Here are some tips.
Minimize Direct and Indirect Contact
Even though you live with a handful of other people, there are still steps you can take to minimize contact:
- Separate toiletries. Each family member should have their own towels, brushes, and other toiletries.
- Sleeping separately. If possible, no two family members should share a bed at night. If not, at least the oldest and most vulnerable members of your household should have separate beds.
- No physical contact. Kisses, hugs, and other forms of physical contact should be reduced to a minimum. If you have a newborn you can’t avoid physical contact with, always wear a mask while holding it.
Keep Personal and Household Hygiene at the Highest Possible Level
Hygiene is something we should all think about regardless of viruses and diseases. However, at times like these, it gains even greater importance. Remind your kids (and everyone else) to wash their hands often. If you see someone touching their face, especially mouth, nose, or eyes, warn them not to. Regularly disinfect and clean your phones, remote controllers, computer mice, keyboards, and anything else you touch often. Open up windows to air out all rooms several times a day.
Reduce the Number of Household Members
Do you have a vacation home currently sitting empty? Perhaps you own an apartment you rent out to travelers? If you have any other property other than the one you live in, some family members should temporarily move out. Ideally, you should send the elderly to a separate location, as they can suffer the most from a COVID-19 infection. Alternatively, if your finances allow it, find out what you need to rent an apartment so that some of your family members can relocate there.
Stay Up-to-Date With the Situation
Having the necessary (and correct) information is the best way to battle any difficulties in life, including disease pandemics. Separating the truth from sensationalist, panic-inducing reports will help you stay level-headed in case one of your members becomes infected. The most reliable and relevant sources of information concerning the Coronavirus pandemic are:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institutes of Health
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Look out for Symptoms
Living in a home with multiple people of different generations means that every member of your household is at a higher risk of infection, simply due to the fact that self-isolation is nearly impossible. That is why you need to keep your eyes open for symptoms at all times. Again, the most common symptoms have to do with respiratory functions – coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
If you have any reason to believe that you or another member of your family may be infected, contact your doctor right away. If tests show that it is, in fact, a Coronavirus infection, you and your family members will most likely be instructed to self-isolate for a certain period of time. We urge you to follow the instructions of your doctors and don’t go against their orders for self-isolation.
What We’re Doing to Battle COVID-19
As a moving company, we come in contact with large numbers of people every day. Although postponing your relocation plans for a later date is in your best interest, sometimes it is simply not possible, depending on what your reasons to move are. That is why we’re doing all we can to maximize safety levels at work. Some of the preventive measures we have introduced include:
- Mandatory protective gear for all our movers, including masks and gloves
- Daily disinfection and cleaning of all our trucks, equipment, and warehouses
- Mandatory sick leave for all employees who are not feeling well
- A sanitizer supply in every one of our trucks and warehouse units
That way, we make sure that, if you have to use moving services during this difficult time, you can rest assured that your moving company is doing everything in its power to protect your health and the health of your loved ones. Stay safe.