This new virus that is spreading through the world has left me with a dilemma. My roommate continues to go to work during the day since he has a job that requires his presence. I am telecommuting and trying to practice social distancing. Is it wrong of me to want him to wear a mask when he comes home? He jumps into a shower and loads his clothing into the washing machine right away, but I am still worried he may already be cooking up the virus in his lungs. My roommate says I am going overboard and he isn’t going to wear a mask in his own home. What should I do?
Cover Your Cough
Dear Cover Your Cough,
I’m not going to make light of this virus situation, it’s scary and I don’t blame you for being anxious. I think both of you have a valid point and the best way to survive this quarantine period is to not turn on each other. It seems as if your roommate is trying his best to lower the risk of illness by showering immediately and not leaving potentially contaminated clothing sitting around. He doesn’t want to wear the mask while at home and I cannot say that I blame him.
While you are safe at home, he is forced to leave the house and risk getting sick each day.
The mask may be too frightening a concept for him – a physical reminder of how vulnerable he is when he has to leave for work. That isn’t to say that you should be forced to risk your health either. I recommend you work out a schedule for the common rooms so you are not occupying them at the same time. He can use his home without a mask and you can use your home without fear of sickness. Opening windows and cleaning surfaces with disinfecting wipes should help reduce the risk to you both – and a good practice even when illness is not apparent!
Always follow the guidelines laid out by the health authorities and your doctor.
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