An Open Letter to Apartment Dwellers During COVID-19
Hey, NoCo: I know it's hard to be stuck inside all day. The sun is shining in our beautiful state, and all we want to do is go outside, sit on the patio of a biergarten, and cheers to our families and our friendships.
But we can't. So we stay in.
My social media feed has been flooded by videos of those telling everyone to "hang in there", but the videos are shot on the second floor of a gorgeous 5-bedroom house away from the city. You can see the still waters of a heated pool idly sitting over the videographer's shoulder through an expansive back window. Me? I'm watching these good tidings from my thrifted couch in a one-bedroom apartment, as my upstairs neighbor goes ham on some EDM music, which pulses through the ceiling.
It's hard to live in an apartment during this time in history. What once felt liberating— an apartment all to myself in the middle of Fort Collins— now feels stifling. Everyone is home. And no one is staying quiet.
I called my complex to talk to them recently, and they mentioned that they've never gotten more noise complaints. Their inboxes are filled with apartment dwellers just trying to get through this crisis one day at a time, but unable to due to the unbearable noise of the dozens around them distracting themselves with loud music or stomping workouts.
Watching social media posts from those in expansive houses with their families feels like a stab in the gut every time I see them. I bet it's so quiet there, I tell myself every time I see someone in Loveland slip into their private pool, or someone in Greeley race down their staircase in yet another day of pajamas. My days are spent deciding if my upstairs neighbor's noise is loud enough to warrant my noise-cancelling headphones, or if I'll be okay dodging the bass line by turning up Sex and the City really, really loud.
Self-quarantine is really, really hard. Being at home all day with nowhere to go is really, really hard. However you cope, though, just remember that apartments are shared spaces. These are places not normally conducive to an amp turned up to 11, or random karaoke parties in the middle of the day. So why is it okay to subject your neighbors to it now?
Be kind. Be considerate. Know that your noise is just that to everyone else: noise. And if you're in a house right now?