How Coronavirus affects Communal Living

The news about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is everywhere, and it is easy to get concerned, especially when there is so much information to take in. When there is an onslaught of news and advice, a lot of what we hear can be conflicting – and what we are hearing changes every day.

It’s hard to process, and when you add 24-hour news stations and the non-stop opinions we get hit with through social media, it’s natural to become confused and even overwhelmed. At Strata One, our whole job revolves around making it easier for people to live contentedly together in communal living buildings. When the first reaction is to panic and the second one is to think that everyone needs to be in this for themselves (and every stranger could be the bogeyman), how does communal living become affected?

How Coronavirus affects communal living There are two main things to remember right now: 1. Practise social distancing 2. From a safe social distance, show kindness and compassion to everyone around us

Social Distancing According to NSW Health, social distancing means: • Avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others • Avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example, family celebrations • Attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place. • Avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people • Avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment

This isn’t always possible, and can be challenging in communal living environments, but we recommend you try as best as you can to keep a safe distance from others.

Looking after yourself and your community The main concerns about the virus are not that everyone will die, but that everyone will get sick at the same time, and put so much stress on our health and emergency services that they can’t cope. If younger and usually healthy people are filling the doctors’ offices and hospitals, then they won’t be available for the truly frail people in our community – who will be the ones that really need medical help. We don’t need to panic, just be calm and cautious and keep a safe, healthy distance from each other for a little while to slow the spread. We don’t need to be afraid of others in our community though, and at times like this kindness and patience are so important. Something as simple as popping a note under your neighbour’s door offering to shop for some essentials or share some of your supplies can make such a difference right now.

Our clients and communities at Strata One are our highest priority The team at Strata One has looked at ways to support our clients and trades as the community at large navigates their way through this unprecedented turbulent time.

Following the latest advice from NSW Health and our Strata governing body, we would recommend: • If you are feeling unwell, or have visited a country considered high risk within the last 14 days, please stay at home. Visiting our office or any public space may increase the risk of transmission. • In relation to strata meetings, it is business as usual, and we will keep all our clients informed if anything changes. However, if you are feeling unwell please contact our office to arrange an alternative means of participating (such as via teleconference & proxy voting). • If you have a tradesman attending at your building, please inform them if you are feeling unwell. This will give them the opportunity to take necessary precautions. • The option of wearing masks may reduce the risk of cross contamination. • Practice simple hygiene by making sure you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitisers. We will be making hand sanitisers available for all of our meetings

The Strata Community Association NSW has collated a list of key resources to assist you to navigate the evolving situation and to stay informed. (link here)

We will keep all our clients and services updated as information changes, but the best thing we can recommend is to keep washing your hands thoroughly and practise social distancing – which means keeping at least a metre away from people outside your own family.

And it’s the way that we act as a community that will help everyone through this strange time.

For constant, up to date information, see NSW Health’s website. They have an excellent FAQ page which may help with your biggest concerns. You can also call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

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