When you live in a small space, self isolation can be difficult. With new pathogens like COVID-19, knowing how to isolate yourself and keep your family safe is important.
If you and your roommates share a one bedroom apartment, there are some measures that you can take to isolate yourself. By following these tips, you can keep yourself and your roommates healthy.
1. Install an exhaust fan.
Bathroom exhaust fans are a great way to keep your shower and mirrors fog-free and reduce the risk of mold growth. They also cool down areas that have become too hot to bathe without turning on the air conditioning system, and they can remove excess moisture that can damage your home.
Installing an exhaust fan doesn’t need to be a complicated project. Most models have a plastic electrical connector or plug to connect them to existing wiring in the house. If not, you’ll need to splice the wires together.
To begin, remove the old fan from the ceiling and disconnect it from the receptacle (if equipped with one) or from any wiring that attaches to it. You may also need to disconnect the exhaust duct.
You’ll need to cut a hole in the drywall that corresponds with the fan’s housing. If the housing has brackets to hold it up from the ceiling, use these to secure the housing to the joists.
Next, clamp an electrical cable to the housing with 6 inches of wire extending into the box. Strip a half inch of insulation from the end of each wire and use twist-on electrical connectors to join them together (white to white; red or black to black).
If there’s no duct at the ceiling, you’ll need to run a flexible duct through the roof or sidewall to bring air out. The duct should be as straight and short as possible, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva.
Whether you’re installing an exhaust fan from the attic or the roof, be sure to consult with your home’s building manager for any special permissions required. If the installation requires a duct connection to the exterior wall, you’ll need to ask your landlord’s permission or get one from your local building inspector.
2. Use a mask.
When a person is sick, it is important to isolate them as much as possible to help prevent others from getting sick. Masks are the best way to do this.
If you live with someone who is sick, both of you should wear a mask while in a shared space (such as the bathroom). You should also use disposable gloves when handling things that may have been touched by the person who is sick.
Keep in mind that wearing a mask may be uncomfortable. So it’s important to choose a mask that fits well and provides protection. Make sure the mask is easy to remove and clean when it becomes dirty or contaminated.
A mask should cover the nose and mouth, with no gaps that allow air to come in or escape if you’re sick. It should also be made of multiple layers so that droplets that get inside the mask don’t spread around or pass to others.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 2 years and older wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high. This includes all indoor spaces such as schools, libraries, malls, hospitals, doctor’s offices, shopping centers, and airports.
For children ages 9 and older, a medical or respirator face mask is recommended. For adults, a high-quality mask or respirator that protects against respiratory disease is recommended.
When you and a loved one are sick, the most important thing is to isolate yourself and stay home until you know what you have. This helps to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and keeps people in your community healthy. In addition, staying home and wearing a mask can help you feel better and less stressed.
3. Keep your personal items out of the shared space.
It can be challenging to find personal space when living with roommates, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be an unpleasant experience. With just a little planning, you can still enjoy some of the benefits of your own space while also avoiding common issues that may arise with other people.
The first step is to create a few “zones” in your apartment. Whether that’s a reading nook in front of a window or a dedicated space for watching TV, creating zones allows you to separate your space from the rest of your apartment without sacrificing the feeling of independence that comes with living alone.
Another thing you should do to keep your space organized is to make sure that you have plenty of storage for all of your belongings. Whether you opt for a bookshelf or decorative boxes, storage can be a key part of making any apartment feel more like home.
Having your own storage will also help you to keep track of where everything is, which can be important if you have a lot of stuff that needs to be put away for the season or when you need to move out.
You should also keep your belongings out of the shared space as much as possible. This can be especially important if you are sharing an apartment with others who have health conditions.
One way to do this is to pack up your toiletry items (soap, toothbrushes and hair care products) before you leave the bathroom and take them with you whenever you go into the bathroom. This will ensure that you are not contaminating the other residents in your apartment.
4. Wash your hands often.
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent infections. It helps protect against diseases such as coronavirus (COVID-19) and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, which can be dangerous to young children, older adults and people with a weakened immune system.
Taking the time to wash your hands often with soap and water is an easy way to stay healthy. It’s also the best way to avoid spreading germs to others.
Your hands carry a range of bacteria and viruses that can cause illness, such as flu or food poisoning. When you touch things that are contaminated, you transfer these germs onto your hands and then on to objects or other people.
When you are in close contact with other people, such as when in a shared living space or while visiting a hospital, washing your hands is especially important. Using soap and water to wash your hands is much more effective at reducing the number of bacteria on your hands than using sanitizer or hand rub.
You should wash your hands with warm running water, and use a soap or hand sanitiser that you feel comfortable using. Apply the soap to the back and sides of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails. Rinse your hands thoroughly with warm water, and then dry them gently with a paper towel.
Make sure to wash your hands before and after meals. This is particularly important if you are sick, and can help prevent COVID-19 infection from spreading to other members of your household.
If you live in a one bedroom apartment, you can enjoy all of the benefits of having a dedicated room for sleeping and resting without needing to share that space with other people. In fact, some apartments come with more amenities than you might expect in a studio or smaller apartment, such as more closet space and laundry hookups.
5. Stay away from sick people.
One of the most important things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs is to stay away from sick people. It’s a simple concept, but it’s something that can be difficult to do when you live in a small space.
Germs are everywhere, and they can survive on surfaces for a long time. So it’s important to keep surfaces in your home clean and disinfected every day. This includes door knobs and handles, counters and tabletops, kitchen and bathroom faucets, toilet flushers, light switches, TV remotes and any other common-touch surface you come into contact with.
The best way to do this is to wash your hands often, according to the CDC. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill bacteria.
Another way to stay away from sick people is to avoid social interaction with them until they are fully recovered. This means avoiding talking to them, sharing their meals and staying away from any places where they are likely to be if they have symptoms.
If you do have to socialize with them, it’s a good idea to set up a separate room for them to stay in, the CDC says. This room should be stocked with necessities like tissues, medicine, a trash can and bottles of water.
It’s also a good idea to limit the number of people who visit the sick person’s room. If you do have to go into their room, make sure to wear a mask and be physical distance from them at all times.
When it comes to cold and flu season, the CDC advises that you “stay home, wash your hands often, and be assiduous with hand-washing.” That advice applies to all illnesses. And it’s especially important if you have a roommate who’s ill, because they could spread germs to you.