Information for Individuals
Updated April 13, 2020
Alpha Sigma Tau is committed to the wellness of our members. As you’re likely aware, confirmed cases of the Coronavirus are growing. Here are some tips for how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
- Avoid close contact with others (at least six feet), even when wearing a face covering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick. If you believe you’re sick (even just a little bit), be open and honest with your professors, supervisors, and yourself. Don’t be selfish and risk the lives of those with compromised immune systems. Listen to your body and don’t try to work through it.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Do not sneeze or cough into your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- As of April 3, 2020, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face-covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
- Remind others to follow these guidelines, too.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Consider setting an alarm on your phone to help you remember.
- Don’t know what 20 seconds actually feels like? Try washing your hands to the chorus of Lizzo’s Truth Hurts or Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
- Make sure to wash your hands especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Hand sanitizer is helpful, but it’s not a replacement for handwashing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Displaced Collegians: Request Assistance or Offer Temporary Housing
As many college campuses close residence halls to minimize the spread of COVID-19, students are faced with the difficult circumstance to find housing. Not all students have the opportunity to move back in with their parents, and some might need help finding a safe place to live to carry out the semester. Please complete this sheet if…
- You are a collegiate member who needs assistance finding temporary housing after being displaced due to your school closing on-campus living spaces; or
- You are an alumna who has space in her home and would be interested in temporarily housing a collegiate Sister.
Alpha Sigma Tau will do our best to assist collegiate members in need, but we cannot guarantee housing or a match. We will connect members to one another and help facilitate the exploration of options within our Sisterhood. If you cannot offer space but know another Sister who can, please share this information.
Our Sisterhood is in a unique position to offer support in ways that few other organizations can. We will come together to help one another through this difficult time.
Caring for Others: Taking Care of our Older Sisters
With so much uncertainty in our lives right now, it’s easy to turn inward and focus on ourselves and our immediate families. But many of us are in a strong position to be of assistance to the most vulnerable population: our older Sisters and neighbors. Older adults are at greater risk of complications should they contract the COVID-19 virus, and in many cases, they are already burdened with the restrictions of declining health and fixed budgets. You can help to ease their difficulties with minimal risk to yourself and your family.
- Pick up the phone. So many of us are more comfortable communicating via email or text, but an old-fashioned phone conversation can be remarkably reassuring for an older friend who has effectively become a shut-in.
- Ask if they have everything they need. If they typically attend a daytime program or senior center that provides services, find out if they have an alternate plan—and then help them do the legwork from your home computer.
- Offer to pick up prescriptions and supplies for older Sisters! Plan a porch drop-off so as not to put their health at risk, and include a can of disinfecting wipes so that they can wipe down containers before handling.
Being an Alpha Sigma Tau means living life guided by our values and leading the way in caring for others. With our collective network of Sisters around the world, we are in a unique position to ensure our community and beyond is protected and taken care of during this time. Let’s lead the way, Sisters.
Caring for Others: Supporting Working Mothers
The challenge of being a working mother has just come home for many of us, and for our Sisters and neighbors. Juggling our responsibilities was already difficult, but now many are faced with having everyone in the house together, each with their own tasks to accomplish.
Do you know a working mom who now has her children at home all day with her? Here are some practical ways you can help ease her burden.
- Offer to take her kids for a walk through the neighborhood on your lunch break so that she can tackle some of her work tasks for an hour. Avoid the playground, and bring your hand sanitizer to share. Maybe pull up a nature scavenger hunt on your phone!
- Check to see if she has all of the supplies she needs: diapers and wipes, children’s Tylenol, chocolate. Offer to make the run to the store so that she doesn’t have to pack up the kids and go out in public. Plan a porch drop-off so as not to put anyone’s health at risk, and include a can of disinfecting wipes so that she can wipe down containers before handling.
- Read a story or help with homework via FaceTime or Facebook video call so that Mom can grab a shower (or just get a few minutes of quiet time to collect her thoughts).
But please remember that this is not an opportunity for group play-dates! Social distancing applies to kids as well as adults.
If you want to help other women but don’t know who may need your assistance, post on social media asking if there are any working moms out there who would like an extra hand. Or post in your chapter’s Facebook group, many of which include alumnae members, and ask if there are any local alumnae who might need assistance. Alpha Sigma Tau is a community of women empowering other women and together, we can ensure working moms have the support they need to care for themselves and their families during this challenging time.
How to politely decline a handshake
It is entirely possible to be polite but firm in your refusal of a handshake, and certainly, most people will completely understand your desire to minimize contact given the present situation. You can simply say, “Hello! Nice to meet you. I’m going handshake-free right now.”
If you’re still a bit uncomfortable with that route, you can make the situation less awkward by giving your own hands something to do instead of shaking.
- Go for the “Stop, Drop and Nod”—pause, then clasp your hands behind your back and nod in acknowledgment of the other person, perhaps with a smile!
- Try the “Grasp and Greet”—fold your hands together in front of yourself and greet the other person verbally.
- If you want to keep it light, try the “elbow bump.” Offer to bump elbows in lieu of a handshake.
It may feel awkward, unnatural, or pretentious, but you have every right to choose your physical interactions. Feel confident in your decision.
Family and Home
- Information for Family and Home Life| CDC
- Information for Children and Pregnant Women | CDC
- Protecting Your Child Against Coronavirus | Business Insider
- Tips for Caregivers of High-Risk Populations | CDC
Professional and Career
- Information for Business Owners/Leaders | CDC
- Tips for Working Remotely | Forbes
- Tips for Managing Remote Employees | Forbes
Personal Hobbies and Activities