You’re probably wondering if it’s safe to move during a pandemic. Factors like increasing rent prices, college dorms closing, and the safety of you and your own might have led you to the decision to move someplace new. But is the risk really worth it, especially if you’re moving to lessen the risk of catching COVID-19 in the first place?
Despite the riskiness of the whole situation and of traveling in general, plenty of Americans have already made the move in the past year. And many more might just follow in their place. While the guaranteed safety of everyone involved, from your family members to the movers transporting your things, isn’t completely set in stone, suffice it to say that not even a global pandemic has stopped anyone from moving across or even out of the country.
Whatever your reason for doing it, moving can be difficult, even without the threat of a virus looming over you. There’s transporting all your stuff, finding a new place, and saying goodbye to your old home even if you’ve only lived in it for a short while. To make sure that you’re ready for your move and the pressure of moving during a pandemic, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Consult with your moving company
Since movers are considered essential workers in most states, you probably won’t have to worry about finding a company that’s available to help you move. But the challenge now is finding a company that practices the right health and safety protocols during the move. Finding the best local moving company to help you is all about safety these days.
Don’t be afraid to ask every company you consult about their health and safety protocols. Are the workers required to wear masks? Have they been tested, or better yet vaccinated? How will they practice social distancing while moving all your furniture to their truck?
It can be tedious to ask so many questions, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just in case, have unused masks at the ready for the number of workers you’re expecting and have hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol by your door. Make them sanitize their hands and the soles of their shoes before coming in and keep a watchful eye to make sure that they observe social distancing.
You can also choose to only have two of them inside your house at a time to avoid bumping into each other or moving too close. The safety of everyone involved should be top priority for both you and the company you hire so choose wisely.
If possible, travel with only people you trust
Unless you have to go by air or sea, traveling in a car with only members of your close family or friends is best. If possible, make sure that everyone’s been tested or vaccinated before making the move. Depending on where you’re going, you may have to travel for hours on end, which means sitting in an enclosed space with other people for long periods of time. If you’re traveling with people you know and trust — or better yet, people that you’re certain to have been tested or vaccinated — then you can rest and relax much easier throughout your journey.
If you have to travel or be in close proximity with strangers, make sure to observe the proper safety protocols. Observe social distancing, wear face masks at all times, and sanitize your hands immediately after touching seats, poles or handrails. The same goes for traveling by plane.
Make sure everything is packed safely and ready to go
Before the movers even get to your house, make sure that you have everything stored in boxes or other storage places for the movers to transport. Disassemble furniture like bookshelves or desks if possible and pack every little knickknack you own securely inside styrofoam-filled boxes. Most importantly, sanitize all surfaces after you’ve touched them.
Having everything packed away by the time the movers arrive makes sure that there’s minimal contact between the movers and your stuff, plus saves you a lot of time.
Always treat everyone like they’re carrying the disease. The movers could infect your stuff if they touch it, or you might infect the movers in the same way. If your stuff has all been sanitized, it also makes sure that nothing contaminates them over the course of the move. As always, make sure to sanitize all your boxes before opening them, and just in case, sanitize your stuff before and after too.
Practice social distancing when taking stops
Any road trip aficionado knows that making frequent stops for rest, food, or bathroom breaks is a must, especially if you’ve been traveling for hours. When taking stops, try to find places that have less people in them, or are more secluded. If you have to stop at a restaurant to eat, practice the usual social distancing and face mask rules and if possible, pick spots that are far away from where other people are eating or sitting. Or better yet, go through the drive-through and stay in your car.
Public bathrooms can be places just rife with contamination of both the COVID-kind and the unhygienic kind too. When in doubt, just sanitize everything.
Even if you’re traveling with people you trust, any one of you could get infected by others if you stopped at a place with lots of people in it or have been traveling with strangers. At the risk of looking extremely paranoid, sanitizing everything you touch is always a safe bet and in these trying times, the safest way is the best way to go.