Responsible guests – the need of the hour in the times of coronavirus

We are doing our best to ensure that our guests are safe in our homestay. From sanitizing after checkouts, cleaning surfaces thoroughly, added quantity of handwash/soaps, disinfecting linens/bedspreads; lot of effort and time have been put in our attempt to keep our premises free from COVID-19.

Having said that, it is also the responsibility of the guests coming or wanting to come to Katie’s Abode, Hartola to ensure that they play their part in making sure that they don’t spread the fatal coronavirus in this part of the country which up till now has been safe and protected.

Guests coming not only to our homestay, but to any place in the mountains must understand that the small mountain hamlets have remained untouched by the virus. Unlike in the cities, because of the scarce population, social distancing in little-known places like Hartola comes naturally. Although the same won’t hold water for the done-to-death hill-stations like Nainital, Musteshwar, Shimla, Manali, etc.

Also, when you are staying in small quaint villages like the one where Katie’s Abode, Hartola is located, you will find yourself speaking to a couple of locals who are friendly by nature, when you go on your leisurely strolls. And definitely, you would not knowingly want to put them in harm’s way, would you?

So here are our pointers which we expect our guests or prospective-guests to adhere to:

1. Follow the government Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to the dot – in our case, the Uttarakhand government’s. Currently, we are not taking any check-ins unless you have a negative COVID-19 test report which is not older than 72 hours. This is in accordance with the guidelines set by the state government for the safety of everyone. Please don’t embarrass yourself by reaching our place without the report as we will decline to check you in.

2. If you have the slightest of symptoms indicating that you have (or might) have contracted the deadly virus, postpone your visit. Always remember—life should take priority over money.

3. While we take it seriously to keep our home clean, your responsibility to keep it the same is equally necessary.What’s dirty stays outside the house or in the vehicle. Shoes, if you feel are dirty, should be kept outside.

4. Limit your interaction with our staff to the possible minimum. While they will cater to your needs, for the safety of both parties, avoid areas like the kitchen as far as possible. Let the caretaker cook and serve you and you enjoy your stay.

5. If you are going on walks, keep the sanitizer and mask handy. If you meet someone ensure that you wear the mask at that time. The ‘Namaste’ is a more prevalent greeting here – safe and appropriate!

6. What we don’t take lightly are spit attacks!! Spitting around is a major reason that spreads coronavirus through saliva. So when you are not in the bathroom, the spit stays where it’s meant to be – inside the mouth. For those in the habit of chewing paan, or gutka, etc. we advise they try a gutka-free vacation. Who knows the beauty of our location might inspire you to kick this habit that requires spitting all around.

So these are some of the steps we expect our guests to take, thus ensuring that we are all safe. After all, in these times when an unseen enemy is at our doorstep, we cannot let our guard down and be even more cautious. At least for the sake of our guests. So clichéd though it might seem, the saying ‘help us to help you’ seems apt here.

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