Moving During COVID-19

With the current COVID-19 pandemic implementing new social-distancing guidelines, universities have shut down campuses. While most IU students have left campus, some full-time Bloomington residents have also decided to leave town.

Roommates Amber Leininger, Jenna Letterman, and Derik Crays made the decision to move from Bloomington to Charlestown months earlier than originally planned due to recent armed robberies, large social gatherings by college students, and medical concerns.

The group is thankful to have been able to officially close on the house before the stricter stay-at-home orders were given. They have tried to practice social-distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC by not seeking out or accepting help from those outside the household.

Concerns for Letterman’s health due to her being immunocompromised, was the main reason the roommates chose to leave Bloomington. With large social gatherings still taking place in Bloomington, such as parties, Letterman says going anywhere deemed essential still puts her and roommates at high risk of exposure to the virus.

“Technically I’m not supposed to go anywhere,” Letterman said. “I’m not supposed to go get things that we need for moving because stores seem to be just as packed as they were before.”

Letterman says that her experience outside the house has been limited since she usually has to send other people out to the store for her instead of putting her own health at risk.

While a large percentage of IU’s students have left town, many apartments and houses are empty and potential targets for robberies. Reports of people stealing during the day while residents are at home, have added to the group’s motivation to move out of Bloomington.

Both Crays and Letterman have lost their bartending positions due to restaurants cutting employees’ hours or shutting down completely. While Charlestown is not far from bigger cities like Jeffersonville and Louisville, employment is still hard to find within the area.

Crays says that the most frustrating part of not being employed while in the process of moving, is not being able to fund household necessities. He says that trying to find a remote or low-exposure position has been next to impossible to find.

The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) has put out guidelines for those wanting to make a move during the current pandemic. AMSA suggests utilizing the guidelines the CDC has put out and continues to update, as well as looking into specific states’ orders that have been put out to help restrict the spread of the virus. For more information on steps you can take to prepare for moving during the pandemic, you can access their full recommendations here.