With current restrictions in Australia and New South Wales due to COVID-19, many of us might be facing new ways of interacting in our apartment spaces and common areas of our buildings. Read on for useful information about apartment living during this time, with practical tips for staying safe and well.
Common facilities and services
There might be changes to the way mail, rubbish and shared facilities like gyms or pools are managed during the COVID-19 situation to minimise contact between residents. If your building has a lift, try to take it by yourself rather than sharing the space with neighbours – or you might simply take the stairs instead for an extra chance to stretch your legs. It’s also a good idea to move through lobbies and foyers as quickly as possible to minimise contact with others.
Minimising risk while using shared surfaces
By minimising contact with shared surfaces in your apartment complex, you can minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. One study has indicated that COVID-19 can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on steel and plastic for up to 72 hours. As such you might wish to use a cloth or napkin to touch common door handles, lift buttons, garbage bin lids, railings and keypad buttons, or to wash your hands thoroughly both before and after contact.
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Arranging repairs & maintenance
Your owners corporation has an obligation to keep common properties in good working order, and repairs can go ahead with strict guidelines in place to protect everyone’s wellbeing. Remember to only flush toilet paper down the toilet, as flushed wipes or even other paper products can cause havoc with a building’s plumbing system.
Apartment living tips to maintain mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19:
- Try to get outside for a walk or run every day for regular exercise.
- Open up the windows and let the fresh air in for ventilation.
- Try to maintain routines as much as possible, including for pets if you have them. Remember to pick up after pets in or gardens to keep these spaces pleasant for everyone to enjoy.
- Set up an office space separate from the main apartment living room, if you’re working or studying from home.
- Stick to regular meal times and focus on eating fresh, healthy food as much as possible. If you’re in quarantine in Sydney, there are a number of grocery delivery services that can drop a fresh produce box at your doorstop.