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Old 19.08.2020, 09:02
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I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

I live with two other flatmates and one, who I've lived with for 2 years, just returned to our flat from vacation to Spain which as you probably know is on the quarantine list. Given the current rules, he is supposed to quarantine for 10 days at home, which in a shared flat means technically he is really supposed to stay in his room the whole time except for the bathroom essentially. As far as I understand, quarantine means you are supposed to act as if you are infected and are positive for the coronavirus.

I feel bad for him, because of course who would want to spend two weeks locked up in their room 24/7? It sucks for sure, but at the same time I am a bit worried about the increased risk not only to me but to the people I am around regularly (coworkers + social bubble/pod). Normally, we each cook our own meals and take care of our own laundry and such, but given his quarantine I offered to help pick up groceries for him, as well as help cook meals for him so that he can minimize any time he needs to be in a common space of our flat. Between my other flatmate and I, we can definitely split tasks like cooking extra food and doing laundry to help our quarantined flatmate out, and we have offered to do so. He has so far declined our help.

Now, to his credit, my quarantined flatmate has been wearing a mask whenever he leaves his room in our flat (and my other flatmate and I are around), however he is taking a very relaxed approach to what "quarantine" means overall. Yesterday I came home from work to find my quarantined flatmate on the front steps to our building, chatting with a friend of his. They were both wearing masks, but I was a bit shocked he was even leaving our flat and almost out of the building. He has also declined my offers for food and is still regularly using the kitchen, pots/pans, and such to cook on his own. Past that, despite offers for help he has been entering and leaving the flat to go to our communal laundry in the basement of our building. This is a space shared with the rest of our building, of which some residents are 60+ and in the higher-risk group. This is only what I see when I'm actually home, and I have no idea if he's really staying in isolated throughout the day or hanging out in the living room without a mask all day

I have been able to go in to work for a while now, and as I work in a lab 100% home office is not quite possible. At work, we try to keep a 2m distance, but at the same time I am generally around coworkers for long periods of time. Given my flatmate's somewhat careless attitude towards his quarantine, my biggest concern is passing on the virus to my coworkers despite my best efforts to be careful.

Am I overreacting to the mandated quarantine on return from travel abroad? I mean it's true he hasn't taken a test and tested positive, but it seems that the government takes it quite seriously with the 10.000 CHF fine, and maybe it would be best if he does as well.
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Old 19.08.2020, 09:10
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

Unless you are going to report him to the authorities and enforce his quarantine, then what kind of answer are you looking for? He is supposed to be following the quarantine rules, but he isn't. The associated risks are clear and all you can do is talk to him if you feel uncomfortable and threatened by his behaviour.

Move out and get your own place, because living in a WG with multiple people, all going about their daily lives separately and travelling around then coming back to the same place, carries an accompanying multiplication of these transmission risks.
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Old 19.08.2020, 09:50
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

I think you're overreacting a bit.

Would you feel the same if your roommate was in Geneva for work or leisure? Because until yesterday or so Geneva had same infections level like Spain.
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Old 19.08.2020, 10:08
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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I think you're overreacting a bit.

Would you feel the same if your roommate was in Geneva for work or leisure? Because until yesterday or so Geneva had same infections level like Spain.
tbh, i think he's doing a lot better than most people.
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Old 19.08.2020, 10:20
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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I think you're overreacting a bit.

Would you feel the same if your roommate was in Geneva for work or leisure? Because until yesterday or so Geneva had same infections level like Spain.
Yeah, I guess this is true for straight infection numbers. It's maybe not so much being in Spain but more the traveling back through the airports coupled with the high risk area that concerns me.

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tbh, i think he's doing a lot better than most people.
This is also a valid point since he is wearing a mask, it just seems like following some, but not all guidelines, is just as good as following none of them since we end up sharing common surfaces (kitchen/cookware/living room). Again, the hope is that he's perfectly fine and there is nothing to worry about, but the official quarantine requirements make it seem like a bigger deal.
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Old 19.08.2020, 11:38
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

You are overreacting, just calm down. The decisions about rules, high risk area etc are heavily influenced by internal / external politics of coutry.
For example: why is corona test ok for German tourist (they can avoid quarantine that way) and not for Swiss tourist? And if they have different levels of security, why are the borders between those two countries left open?
So, the rules are made to lower the possibilities, but still allow as much of "normal life" as possible. Everyone should try to help a little. IMHO we must try hard not to fall into denunciation or accusations of others, but rather help them.
I was 10 days at home alone and it was nice to have friends who did things for me. And sometimes we chat trough the window, having a glass of wine, they sitting outside on the street and me in my room.
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Old 19.08.2020, 15:54
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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Yeah, I guess this is true for straight infection numbers. It's maybe not so much being in Spain but more the traveling back through the airports coupled with the high risk area that concerns me.



This is also a valid point since he is wearing a mask, it just seems like following some, but not all guidelines, is just as good as following none of them since we end up sharing common surfaces (kitchen/cookware/living room). Again, the hope is that he's perfectly fine and there is nothing to worry about, but the official quarantine requirements make it seem like a bigger deal.
Im not certain that quarantine means he should stay in his room. You live together, you are in the bubble. That's the disadvantage of sharing a property. He surely has an absolute right to access shared areas in his own home. I've not seen anything to the contrary, but happy to be corrected.

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 19.08.2020 at 17:08.
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Old 19.08.2020, 17:18
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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Im not certain that quarantine means he should stay in his room. You live together, you are in the bubble. That's the disadvantage of sharing a property. He surely has an absolute right to access shared areas in his own home. I've not seen anything to the contrary, but happy to be corrected.
You're right, you have to look for this on the BAG/OFSP website. It's not mentioned anywhere on the airplanes or the airport, or trains. Anyway, shared areas are not accessible during quarantine.

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You are entering Switzerland and have stayed in a country or area within the last 14 days where there is an increased risk of infection. You are required on arrival to go immediately and directly to your home or to other suitable accommodation. You must remain there at all times for 10 days following arrival (quarantine) and contact the responsible cantonal authority within two days of your arrival.........By putting yourself in quarantine, you avoid transmitting the virus to people in your household and to the general public.
https://www.bag.admin.ch/dam/bag/en/...quarantine.pdf
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Old 19.08.2020, 23:31
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

Storm in a tea cup.

Ever thought about vacating the kitchen so the poor soul can have a bit of time away from staring at the walls?

Not to mention there are some that go a little bananas if they dont get a little fresh air.

Lastly it is a bit of a swiss trait to mind your own business. I see all kinds of rules broken every day. Especially the dumb ass roller riders overtaking other motorbike/roller riders by using the bike lane. All good,all OK. Chill. I see people taking water fron streams, dumping cut grass in said stream etc etc etc. No good but hey this is SUI. And in return, as a Aussie I get amazing tolerance from almost all the swissies, including the police which I might add are awesome at their job. Didn’t understand what the lady seargent was yelling at me about, but after it all she let me off the hook. So there you are. Tolerance Centre of the planet here.
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Old 20.08.2020, 01:57
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

rat him...he deserved...why he should come back relaxed and in a good mood...
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Old 21.08.2020, 12:56
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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rat him...he deserved...why he should come back relaxed and in a good mood...
LOL.
Already happening. OP is probably all sweet and polite to said flat-mate while bitching on the internet.

That makes me wonder if marriages would last longer, if the involved parties would do the same.
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Old 21.08.2020, 13:10
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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you are in the bubble
exactly. the OP should be quarantining too!
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Old 21.08.2020, 13:53
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

For "Swiss" standards staying in the property of the building and talking to people outdoors, masked I think will not raise any eyebrows with the authorities. There are quite detailed "rules" (https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1140872486) but seeing how life is progressing in the public sphere makes you realize there is a disconnect between these documents and what is socially acceptable.
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Old 21.08.2020, 13:54
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

Report him. If he's infected and infects elderly people in your block, you'll feel guilty if they end up dead.
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Old 21.08.2020, 13:58
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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For "Swiss" standards staying in the property of the building and talking to people outdoors, masked I think will not raise any eyebrows with the authorities. There are quite detailed "rules" (https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1140872486) but seeing how life is progressing in the public sphere makes you realize there is a disconnect between these documents and what is socially acceptable.
During quarantine you can leave your house for a doctor's appointment, so let's be honest, hanging out just in front of your house with a mask doesn't do any harm.
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Old 21.08.2020, 13:58
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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Now, to his credit, my quarantined flatmate has been wearing a mask whenever he leaves his room in our flat (and my other flatmate and I are around), however he is taking a very relaxed approach to what "quarantine" means overall. Yesterday I came home from work to find my quarantined flatmate on the front steps to our building, chatting with a friend of his. They were both wearing masks, but I was a bit shocked he was even leaving our flat and almost out of the building. He has also declined my offers for food and is still regularly using the kitchen, pots/pans, and such to cook on his own. Past that, despite offers for help he has been entering and leaving the flat to go to our communal laundry in the basement of our building. This is a space shared with the rest of our building, of which some residents are 60+ and in the higher-risk group. This is only what I see when I'm actually home, and I have no idea if he's really staying in isolated throughout the day or hanging out in the living room without a mask all day

I have been able to go in to work for a while now, and as I work in a lab 100% home office is not quite possible. At work, we try to keep a 2m distance, but at the same time I am generally around coworkers for long periods of time. Given my flatmate's somewhat careless attitude towards his quarantine, my biggest concern is passing on the virus to my coworkers despite my best efforts to be careful.

Am I overreacting to the mandated quarantine on return from travel abroad? I mean it's true he hasn't taken a test and tested positive, but it seems that the government takes it quite seriously with the 10.000 CHF fine, and maybe it would be best if he does as well.
Given the fact that you two share an apartment, perhaps you should also try to spend less time around him and more in your room/less in common spaces. He seems to try his best I think. Why don't you two have a discussion? I don't think he gets all those "hints" of yours i.e. offering to do the laundry/get the groceries/cooking for him etc.
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Old 22.08.2020, 12:00
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

Yeah, this was the document I had originally read which seemed to push the extreme of locking yourself in one room under the "If you live in the same household as the person who is ill." I can see now I was making a bigger deal about it than I needed to

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Given the fact that you two share an apartment, perhaps you should also try to spend less time around him and more in your room/less in common spaces. He seems to try his best I think. Why don't you two have a discussion? I don't think he gets all those "hints" of yours i.e. offering to do the laundry/get the groceries/cooking for him etc.
When he first came back we had discussed trying to minimize contact and all, it just seemed to fly out the window within the first 24 hours. This is definitely also on me for not directly following up with him though about expectations. In the end I've just tried to spend as much time as possible out of the flat for both his and my sake - he doesn't have to spend all day in his room

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Storm in a tea cup.

Ever thought about vacating the kitchen so the poor soul can have a bit of time away from staring at the walls?

Not to mention there are some that go a little bananas if they dont get a little fresh air.
Had to look up "storm in a tea cup" but that definitely makes sense. I was blowing things a bit out of proportion. Flatmate is still wearing a mask around the flat when out of his room and I or my other flatmate are around, but he spends time in the common areas/kitchen as well. Overall it's true he's probably handling it better/nicer than many would, it's just been a bit of a strange situation without clear guidelines for flatsharing.
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Old 22.08.2020, 12:36
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

Perhaps you need to discuss some ground rules when sharing the apartment.


I am sure if this is done and you both observe each others personal space and wash hands regularly when in the shared areas and wipe down with disinfectant cleaner any shared items you need to handle, then all should be good.


Not sure what ages you are or whether either of you have any underlying medical conditions which may make you more vulnerable but if you get on with each other then come to a joint decision.


Better than trying to rat the person out, this will only make things worse.
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Old 22.08.2020, 15:17
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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it's just been a bit of a strange situation without clear guidelines for flatsharing.
I assume you are not 12 years old anymore. How about using common sense?
You can read about guidelines everywhere: wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 2m far away, etc. What else do you need?

Besides, in your original post you mentioned your social circle. If you are so worried he may be spreading the virus to you, then you should probably limit mingling with other people too.
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Old 22.08.2020, 17:10
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Re: I feel like my flatmate doesn't understand what "quarantine" means...

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Yeah, this was the document I had originally read which seemed to push the extreme of locking yourself in one room under the "If you live in the same household as the person who is ill." I can see now I was making a bigger deal about it than I needed to
And that's where's the rub.
Your flatmate had a wonderful holiday, came back relaxed, happy and obviously feeling totally healthy and showing no symptoms what so ever - but has to stay in because the country is on the list. Which he does.
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