Coho with Coronavirus

A review of WebChat #42: Coho with Coronavirus, Thur, Mar 12, 2020* (In a changing world, note this information may no longer be current.  Specifically, some states have further restricted gatherings since this webchat.)

Intro Keeping Cohousers Healthy 

As communities listen and respond to current events, it seems like a good moment to come together online and talk about how cohousing interfaces with public health concerns. What practices do communities use to stay healthy? How do we take action as a community in the face of individual differences when the stakes are high? How do we balance the competing needs for safety, connection and mutual support?

There were ____cohousing communities from around the country and 100 people discussing what they were doing, could be doing or asking questions.  Summary of ideas for preventions, susceptible people with health challenges, when people get sick, kids, 

These are not HEALTH recommendations, see CDC

  1. Stop all outside event
  2. Victors who are sick are not allowed in
  3. Vigorous hand washing, especially around kitchen, using more disinfectant and individual spoons
  4. When serving make sure bowls are not over pots
  5. Suspend meals entirely for two months
  6. No groupings over 10 people
  7. Community meetings by Zoom, $15/month for up to 100 folks, Free for up to 40 minutes (suggested you could all sign off and sign back on)
  8. Many groups mentioned using Zoom, others mentioned Skype, Boomerang – SEE SLIDE SHOW IN COHOUSING FOR THIS??? LINK
  9. Lots of gloves and Purcell around community in public places
  10. Some nurses circulating info and resources
  11. Open house without people (See WEBCHAT ON THIS)
  12. Health Issues with some the products, alcohol also works
  13. Sanitize the laundry room also
  14. Sanitizing at the door
  15. If two folks and one sick have other stay somewhere else or guest room
  16. Shopping for others
  17. Taking temperature daily
  18. Watch warm and fuzzy movies (see anxiety WEBCHAT….
  19. Have small clusters of folks check in every day with each other- phone/text/Zoom
  20. Set up spreadsheet with needs of sick person
  21. Close common house (many mentioned this)
  22. Run errands, pick up meds
  23. Note on door so folks know person is sick
  24. Check that folks have food, meds for 2 weeks
  25. For a committee to deal with this if one does not already exist
  26. Circle of caring
  27. Email, listserve. Website communication
  28. Bring food to those in need
  29. Remind folks about how coughing, wash hands et all (CDC)
  30. Restricting guests
  31. Use large room and sit 3-6 ft apart fir meetings or common meals
  32. Use iPhone, Facetime if you don’t have tech abilities
  33. Use telehealth
  34. Ensure emergency contact info for each person (some sounded hesitant to pry)
  35. Walk around outside 
  36. Acorn Acadmeny?
  37. Tutoring programs online
  38. Exercise classes online
  39. Talk early and often about what is coming up
  40. Facebook group for kids
  41. We’re having Skype and zoom dinners!!
  42. Use water instead of tp like in the mid east and Asia!
  43. Meet outside if possible – keeping social distance of 3-6 feet
  44. Suspended group meetings (over 10 people) in the Common House.
  45. We are talking about having designated food servers at common meals rather than everyone holding the serving spoons.
  46. If you need a test call you doctor with symptoms, take your temperature
  47. CDC has ideas for different materials for cleaning?? - From CDC right now: Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19
  48. Have homemade meals outside when the weather is warm.
  49. Safety Group (includes 2 nurses) who monitors local public health recommendations and makes recommendations to Board and Community regarding prevention activities and next steps regarding limiting events.
  50. I personally use Shaklee Germicide which is effective for COVID-19.  I don’t tolerate bleach well, but I do tolerate Shaklee Basic-G (germicide).
  51. One man was tested (had been exposed) and during his quarantine (at home), his wife (immunocompromised) stayed at another member’s house. 
  52. Thinking about offering shopping/errands for those folks.
  53. COMMUNITY MEETINGS: We had our ACM on Wed. We moved it to a larger room so we didn’t have to be so close to each other. One person didn’t want to come to the meeting, so she simply called someone who DID go to the meeting and the phone speaker was good enough for her to hear the meeting.
  54. Someone earlier mentioned having common meals by Zoom
  55. I’ve heard practicing compassion meditation (for self and others) is useful.
  56. A number of members of our community are computer challenged so hate to leave them out– If not computer users an ‘old fashioned’ phone call could work too!
  57. Those who feel vulnerable are self-isolating. I like the ideas I’ve heard so far about how to keep connection and would welcome more.
  58. Outdoor walks could be good too
  59. My son is sick (we don’t know with what) with a fever and we just put a sign on our door that says he can’t play so his friends don’t come to the door. He’s 6 1/2.
  60. Forming small groups. One of my core fears is that more quiet/shy/introverted members will end up really suffering and end up hospitalized unnecessarily.
  61. Bring your own dishes. Don’t come if you are sick.
  62. We are having a little “insta-node” Friday with BYOB, outside with good distance between folks.
  63. We have since the beginning had a manual system in which we ask every member to fill out a questionnaire that includes relative/friend contact info, doctor and medicine info, allergies, health conditions, etc. We ask members to put the form in their freezer or on the refrigerator.  We have had pretty good compliance. Our members have not wanted an automated database because of privacy concerns.
  64. People with flexible schedules can offer childcare to those parents who need to keep working.
  65. We have a little Safety group and some have suggested we not have groups of kids together in the CH, because this increases the risk for the vulnerable in the community.
  66. Waldorf is working on “age-appropriate distance learning”. Georgia has had 1 death, 12 confirmed and 19 presumptive cases.
  67. Put kids to work for the community!  We here at Harmony Village in Golden CO have two children who have picked up people’s compost for years! 
  68. Since I have been traveling, I am self-isolating and not using the common laundry for two weeks; 
  69. Using commercial Laundromat 
  70.  Continue to BREATHE


Other webschats:

Donate here:

Content from Coho-L

(For more information and to engage in a variety of topics on the Coho listserve, click here)

The Wolf Creek Lodge, a senior co-housing group where I have become a regular social visitor, and where I have more than a dozen friends, some partnered some single, has instituted a severe lock-down. This presents an unexpected problem with co-housing. The risk posed by a highly contagious disease prohibits basically all of the common activities (like common meals), and the use of common kitchen and meeting rooms. The contagion cancels the advantages of the commons, one of the key aspects of co-housing. Several of the Wolf Creekers are in fragile health.

At Swans Market We have cancelled Common Dinners, upped our cleaning protocols, and are having all our meetings via videoconferencing via Zoom.  Our younger neighbors have organized a twice weekly shopping run so that we elders can just email in our list of needs and they shop for us.  At 7pm every night we stand in our doorways (which are 18 feet apart) and clap to thank our medical folk and first responders and then we all sing a song together, different one every night.  Solidarity in a time of social distancing.  A few days ago we learned that one of our original members  who had cancer and so moved to assisted living facility had died; so we gathered in our communal garden which she had lovingly tended for 19 years, and standing 6 feet apart we sang her favorite song and shared memories of her and toasted her with Lemoncello which she used to make, in memory of her fabulous cocktail party she used to throw every year.  When one of our younger members turned 3 we stood in our doorways and sang  Happy Birthday to her.  It feels strange but we still feel connected and are caring for each other.  As far as we know none of us has yet got the virus, but who knows so we try to assume we all have it.

We put cleaner and paper towels at various locations in the CH.    I don’t really think most people are using the CH at this point except for laundry.We suspended having guests in the CH guest rooms without getting everyone’s permission, and so far no one has asked.We are having Sunday dinners, when the weather is good, by sitting outside at least 6 feet apart and bringing our own food and chairs.   We are conducting meetings on line or by phone.
> We are setting up the laundry so that everyone has a day every week, that they selected, to do their laundry.   People are to stay out of the laundry room unless it is their day.  We have 2 laundry rooms so we have enough for every family to have one day.  Also, everyone is to clean all surfaces when done in the laundry room.We still run into each other often so we can chat from a distance.    I can’t see my grandchildren now, who used to come over all the time, so I have been loaning out some of their toys and books, for the duration, to help our community children have a little more to do.   School will be beginning on line tomorrow so that should help.  We also have been passing around humorous things that have been going around the internet re coronavirus, sheltering in place, etc. Take care everyone……waiting for the surge, let’s hope its manageable.Thanks

Here in Lancaster Cohousing UK, we did some socially distant Tai Chi on the
CH terrace this morning and yesterday.. It was sunny and the birds were
singing despite everything.

We have an emergency COVID team meeting regularly (by Zoom) and the Common
Areas Service team are working closely with them .  We sound pretty much
like you. We have ten or eleven out of 66 people here who have compromised
immune systems for various reasons so they are self isolating and some of
us are still doing social distancing, having occasional meals sitting far
apart – last week inside, this week outside.

All visiting has stopped like you.

We happen to have a brilliant Knowledge Manager who’s an expert in helping
people to use Zoom and Slack, and just before this started we swapped all
our communications from Email to Slack. She has been brilliant atdoing
little how-to videos to bring everyone on board.    We also have a nurse
who is working in the local hospital on training health service staff on
wearing safe protective clothing; he’s been really helpful when i needed
informaiton about whether it’s useful or not to wear surgical gloves (he
says NO, they spread infection cos they make you feel you’re safe – better
to wash your hands more often).

We’re thinking of a 30 Day Art Challenge….a Zoom wine tasting….  any
other ideas?

Sharon Villines:

(I don’t think anyone from Takoma Village has posted. If so just skip this.)

We have a team that organizes this including a Dr of food hygiene (or a related field I have forgotten), a PhD in theoretical chemistry, and a graduate of West Point. I don’t know the specialities of the other members.

All gatherings including meals and meetings, large or small, have been cancelled. We are all learning Zoom. The Zoom membership meeting has more attendees than any we can remember — I think the final number was 37. In households with 2 adults, they shared a connection. We had one person facilitating, one person doing tech support, and a third person watching the chat and conveying questions and requests to the facilitator. All microphones muted. We used the “hand raised” feature for those who wanted to speak.

The guest rooms are closed.

The kids room has been stripped of all hard to clean toys. Caregivers have to disinfect when leaving.

CH surfaces that are likely to have been touched were heavily wiped down with soap or sanitizer last week and then are wiped again every day. People coming and going are asked to wipe down surfaces they touch including door knobs.

Use of the small laundry room is being coordinated to stagger use. There are often traffic jams and it would be impossible to keep a 6 ft distance from anything.

Social distancing all around. People are self-quarantining on the most part — some completely if they think they have any exposure or are in a vulnerable population.

We have a wonderful guy, Herb, who is making regular runs to the coop. When others are going shopping they put out a message and people can contact them with their list. So far I think every request has been filled. Herb and Mark are very fast on offering aid of any kind.

Community sing last Friday — musicians in the piazza and people on the 2 stories of walkways above. Planned as a regular event.

A side note:

My unit looks out on a two lane street that is very busy and bumper to bumper during rush hours. There are far fewer cars now but the cars are social distancing!!!. Usually they are inching up on each other to be ready to get through the light as soon as it changes. Now they are keep at least 1/2 a car length between them and most, 1 car length. Even buses and trucks.

Category: Coronavirus

Tags: health, living in cohousing, public health concerns, webchat

Views: 2542

Related Posts Cohousing Blog