Coronavirus is changing the way we interact with our neighbours, but there’s never been a better time to look out for one other. Here’s how to be a good neighbour and support your community, even while we’re socially distanced.
How can we help neighbours safely during the Coronavirus pandemic?
There are number of ways people are taking care of neighbours at the moment:
- You might offer to shop for someone who’s currently housebound or in self-quarantine. We have a print-out for strata committees to drop into letterboxes or post on noticeboards to offer this assistance. If you do shop for someone, be sure to wash your hands before going to the grocery store, wipe down the shopping trolley or basket in the store, and wash your hands again before delivering groceries.
- You can leave a note in the mailbox to say hello and connect with neighbours. Relationships Australia has some great resources for connection cards that you can safely leave in neighbours’ mailboxes, if you’d like to say hello or offer a friendly phone call.
- If you’re close with your neighbours and missing regular interaction, you might start up a WhatsApp group by leaving a message on the building’s noticeboard, or introduce virtual happy hours and video chats using Zoom or FaceTime. This can be a great way to stay connected when you’re in lockdown.
- It’s also the perfect time for random acts of kindness. Bear hunts and rainbow searches are proving to be a great way to delight local families while keeping a safe distance, or you might like to cook up a big batch of biscuits to deliver to doorsteps in your building. Of course, toilet paper is another welcome gift right now!
What should I do if I think my neighbour has Coronavirus?
Naturally, there may be some concerns about COVID-19 and how your strata property might be affected. As strata managers we’re unable to correspond with individual residents about their health, but we do understand the anxiety around sharing common facilities and surfaces.
We recommend maintaining standard hygienic practices, such as washing hands thoroughly after touching shared surfaces and refraining from sharing lifts with others if you can. If you feel that increased cleaning might be necessary in your building, then you can get in touch with your strata manager.
By now Australians should all be aware of the importance of self-isolating and contacting their healthcare provider via phone if they have symptoms of the virus, and there is a National Coronavirus Hotline for any questions. If a neighbour is clearly not complying with the Public Health order, for example throwing a large party, then you can report non-compliance to NSW Crime Stoppers.