Life after lockdown Part 3: How to let people back into your homes while preventing COVID-19
Here are some things you can consciously do to make this transition easier for yourself and for those who’re entering your homes.
One of the most effective ways of battling COVID-19 was to implement a nationwide lockdown, and that’s precisely what the Indian government did. The lockdown has already been extended twice, and PM Modi has announced yesterday that there will be a continuation, albeit with new rules. It’s highly likely that new steps will be taken to revive the economy and ease the restrictions to restart the movement of people.
Keeping this in mind, you might be worried about how to adjust to a post-lockdown world, especially if domestic workers, home delivery and other services which you need at home are restarted in phases. It’s one thing to prepare for the outside world and leave home to go to work or send your kids to school, and quite another to let people back into your home - especially since this space has become more of a safe haven during the lockdown for most.
It’s quite likely that the government will come up with new sets of guidelines to ensure everyone's safety, but here are some things you can consciously do to make this transition easier for yourself and for those who’re entering your homes.
1. Share resources for safety
Share extra face covers, gloves, disinfectants or any other hygiene and safety resources with anyone who comes into your home - whether it is your domestic help, maintenance staff or extended family members. Ensure that they all know how to effectively use these items at your home and theirs. Ensuring the optimum hygiene for domestic workers, their families and communities is the best way to avoid the infection from spreading any further.
2. Choose hygiene, not stigma
While it’s important to maintain the highest hygiene standards to keep COVID-19 and all other infectious diseases at bay, you should avoid attaching any stigma to it. Do not stigmatize domestic workers by refusing or reducing their pay, or restricting their access to bathrooms or fans while they’re working at your home. Instead, ensure that there is good ventilation in the entire house and that you maintain humidity levels between 40-60%, - studies show that this helps reduce chances of transmission indoors.
3. Be compassionate while social distancing
The rules of engaging with society at large are likely to change after the pandemic, but being compassionate and kind while maintaining social distance is very important. Greet every guest, ask after their wellbeing and start a conversation to ensure that nobody feels isolated and depressed as a result. Smiles may go unnoticed because of face covers, so opt for another greeting that puts people at ease, like a namaste or bowing your head.
4. Keep a health check
Take your health and that of any visiting outsiders very seriously, and keep a track of everybody’s health status. If you or anybody at home is feeling sick, ask guests and help to not come in. If the domestic worker or someone in their family is unwell, give them paid leave and provide access to healthcare so that the illness doesn’t get serious, no matter what disease it is. If you have family and friends who want to visit you, it's not rude to ask them to maintain distance and take precautions when they do - it's for the better health of everyone involved.
5. Combat misinformation
Ensure that everyone around you gets the right information about COVID-19 , the lockdowns, government guidelines, healthcare services and apps like Aarogya Setu. Misinformation can create panic, fear and stigma while knowing the right rules and guidelines will ensure that everybody feels safe and secure. The easing of restrictions may even make people think the risk has passed - ensure that they understand why they need to continue taking precautions, especially if you're associating with them regularly.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 prevention steps every office must take after the lockdown.
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