Being a Good Roommate During Coronavirus: Dos and Don’ts

Being a Good Roommate During Coronavirus: Dos and Don’ts

Bad roommates can take a toll even in normal times. During a pandemic, they can drive you up a wall.

With many people working from home, and nearly everyone limiting their trips outside, roommates who may usually see each other only before work or in the evening are suddenly crammed together in living rooms, kitchens and narrow hallways.

Suddenly, you’re counting on that friend of a friend or that roommate from Craigslist to help keep the coronavirus at bay. And aside from the new anxiety between roommates over safety, the pandemic is aggravating arguments that have long plagued shared living spaces, including those about dirty dishes, cable bills and cluttered bathroom sinks.

Think things are going swimmingly in your apartment? Then you may be the one at fault after all.

Here are some tips to make sure your habits aren’t sending your roommates to stew in their bedrooms.

  • Attach passive-aggressive notes criticizing their hygiene to a container of Lysol wipes and leave it in front of their door.

  • Keep playing the same horrible song on repeat.

  • Take on a new instrument without properly soundproofing your room first.

  • Vape products that supposedly smell of coconut rice but actually smell like a dentist’s office. It’s bad for your lungs anyway.

  • Take long showers. Three roommates. One toilet. Not everyone has a bladder of steel.

  • Cook copious amounts of garlic. We’re not warding off vampires.

  • Force or guilt your roommate into your latest TikTok routine. It’s not going to happen.

  • Ask if anyone wants a drink when you go to make one for yourself.

  • Ask how your roommate is doing like you really mean it.

  • Create a balanced routine of alone time and common activities.

  • Replace the roll of toilet paper if you were the last person to use it.

  • Go outside multiple times a day and expose your roommates and yourself to the virus.

  • Forget to wash your hands regularly.

  • Invite friends over. Really, you’ll be OK and save everyone a lot of drama.

  • Continue to lick your fingers to turn a book page.

  • Think the living room is your personal gym.

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, even if you swear it’s just allergies.

  • Disinfect door handles, countertops, laptops and cellphones.

  • Wear a mask if you’re outside the apartment. Here’s how to make one.

  • Build a contingency plan in case one of you gets sick.

  • Wash your clothes regularly.

  • Stay at home!

  • Forget that other people may be on a video call before you act stupid behind them.

  • Ask your roommates why they are wearing fancy pajama bottoms on a Zoom call.

  • Hog the Wi-Fi by downloading video games.

  • Take calls in a common space.

  • Use headphones. It’s a simple trick that makes a world of difference.

  • Put on a Zoom background if you are video calling and your roommates could be visible in the background.

  • Leave outlets available for other roommates in the common space who are working.

  • Respect quiet hours (typically 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays).

What have we forgotten? Share your tips in the comments.

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