COVID-19 and Cooperative Values

By now we have all heard of the existence and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). But have you heard that the more common seasonal flu is causing many more infections and deaths than COVID-19? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more 34 million people have been sickened by the common flu, from 350,000 to 620,000 people have been hospitalized, and from 20,000 to 52,000 people have died from during the current flu season.

On the other hand, as of March 12, 2020, the COVID-19 virus has affected 129,838 persons and led to 4,751 deaths worldwide. “Right now, the number of COVID-19 cases pales in comparison to the number of flu cases,” says Dr. Gregory Poland a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases and vaccine specialist. “Unlike COVID-19, seasonal flu is in every state and every community in the U.S.”

Nevertheless, Cooperative Boards and Management may wish to consider posting the following advice on their bulletin boards, in common areas, and in member mailboxes.

In light of the Flu and COVID -19 concerns, the Cooperative encourages members, visitors, management and staff to:

  1. Practice handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes.
  2. Stay in your unit when sick and notify management of illness.
  3. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
  4. Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily accessible throughout the facility and common areas
  5. If caring for an individual living in a cooperative, monitor the situation, and ask about the health of the other members frequently.
  6. Implement social distancing measures as feasible, such as reducing large gatherings, reduce the use of common areas, and limiting programs with external staff.
  7. Limit visitors to only those persons who are absolutely necessary.
  8. Communicate with Staff and Management by phone or text, rather than coming to the office if possible

During this time, it is important to also remember the values upon which our Cooperatives are built. Cooperatives are grounded on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, and community. Cooperative members believe in honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. With news reports bombarding us daily, let us not forget the needs of our neighbors and the values that make cooperative living desirable.

Attorney Kerry Lee Morgan has extensive experience in matters related to federal housing discrimination law and has worked with cooperatives to resolve disputes and enhance cooperative quality of life. He previously served as an Attorney-Advisor with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.