Several People Are Going Into ‘Self-Quarantine’ During Coronavirus, Here’s How To Do It

'Do you have enough food and clean clothes for 14 days?,' warns an infectious-disease specialist.

a person wears a mask to protect against coronavirus
Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

'Do you have enough food and clean clothes for 14 days?,' warns an infectious-disease specialist.

As coronavirus spreads across the world, many people are going into so-called “self-quarantine.” But what does that even mean? As MarketWatch explains, the process requires some advance planning, and you may actually wind up being pretty busy at home during your period of containment.

For starters, as The Independent reports, not everyone needs to self-quarantine, although it’s not necessarily a bad idea to do so. The people who absolutely should be self-quarantining include those who have been potentially exposed to a person with the illness; people who have been to countries where the disease is rampant (such as Italy); or older people or people with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions. For example, as reported by The Inquisitr, 77-year-old The View hostess Joy Behar, whose age puts her at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19, has decided to self-quarantine.

So what should you do and not do during your self-quarantine?

Be Prepared To Ban Visitors From Your Home

Staying home for a period of time will almost certainly mean that you’ll have to have certain things, like groceries or hot foods, delivered to your home. Do not let delivery drivers into your home, says Waleed Javaid, director of Infection Prevention and Control at Mount Sinai Downtown in Manhattan.

“If you order a pizza, you should show common courtesy and ask the delivery person to leave it at the door, and explain that you are sick,” Javaid said.

To that end, several food-delivery apps, like Instacart and Postmates, have rearranged their policies to allow “no-contact delivery,” meaning that the entire transaction can be handled without the customer and the delivery driver having to have contact with each other.

a pizza delivery driver
  Emran Kassim / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Use Your Free Time To Get Some Cleaning Done

Javaid says that, if you’re concerned enough about coronavirus to self-quarantine, then your house probably deserves a thorough cleaning.

Thoroughly wash and sanitize all “high-touch” surfaces in your home, such as faucet handles, doorknobs, and railings. Similarly, wash and dry all of your clothes, especially garments that might have blood, stool, or bodily fluids on them, preferable with gloves.

Plan Ahead

If you’re going to be stuck at home for two weeks, you’re going to have to get your ducks in a row first.

“Do you have enough food and clean clothes for 14 days? Do you have drinking water? Probably the biggest mistake that people make with self-quarantining is underestimating the problems they are going to face if they can’t leave home,” Javaid says.

You may also want to consider other accommodations for your pets, according to the Centers for Disease Control, as right now it’s unclear what role, if any, nonhuman animals can play in the transmission of the coronavirus.

Don’t End Your Self-quarantine Without Talking To Your Doctor

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends not ending your self-quarantine, especially if you were instructed to do so by a doctor or a public health official, without first getting clearance.