The Quarantine Experience
Written by Christian Dames
It’s 7:30 in the morning when I finally get up to the third rendition of White Fences by NEEDTOBREATHE that serves as my morning alarm. My first two days in quarantine I was adamant that I would stick to my normal routine, getting up by 6:00 every morning like I always did on campus. By day three I was already starting to push my alarm back further and further. I can’t tell you if it was because I found myself with a lot of dead time waiting for morning classes or the fact I stayed up later each night rewatching Game of Thrones, but either way I just didn’t have the same drive to get up every morning. I would rather sleep in.
My being placed in quarantine was abrupt to say the least. I got back Monday night from spending Labor Day weekend at home. The next morning, I had breakfast with my sister and went to my 8:00 class like normal. When I returned to the dorm after class, it all came crashing down. My roommate had gotten tested after feeling sick for much of Monday night. The day swiftly became tentative as my roommates and I waited for his test result. It wasn’t until 10:00 at night after my rehearsal for Spotlight did I get the news and reality set in: My roommate tested positive for COVID-19 and I would be placed in quarantine for two weeks.
I was fortunate enough that, because of my minimal contact with my roommate over the holiday weekend and that my family lived twenty minutes away from campus, I was able to go home for my quarantine. While I was able to have social interaction with my family, it wasn’t like a traditional visit home. For the first week, I was largely relegated to the upstairs and wore a mask when around my family. Though we were fairly confident that I had missed my roommate’s window for spreading, we didn’t want to take any chances. Then there was the school factor.
I am not going to sugarcoat it, trying to have a connection with school while in quarantine was difficult. When you are online for a normal, in-person class, it is a struggle to feel involved. To put it simply, it is a challenge for instructors to change their class on a whim to accommodate for online students in quarantine. I don’t put any blame on my professors, but I had to work extra hard to stay involved. I had to be proactive when communicating with my professors and be diligent about paying attention in class (though that is immensely difficult when you have a cat constantly trying to steal your chair).
Not only was I online for class, but I also missed out performing with my sister in the Spotlight show. It was off-putting and a bit depressing watching the livestream of the performance only to hear my recorded voice give a speech and seeing the image of a single spotlight shine on my place. It looked like I had died, which was fitting because it made me realize how quickly we can be pulled out of our regular lives because of this virus. I stress to my fellow students that you need to be prepared to miss out on your activities when you go into quarantine. It’s going to happen.
With that all being said, I don’t want to be a downer that whines and complains about all that I missed out on while in quarantine. I believe it is important to remember while in quarantine that you are not the center of the universe. In order to come to a place of acceptance, you must take the time to consider why these protocols are in place. Even if you do not have the virus, going into quarantine when asked to is instrumental to keeping our students and faculty on campus safe. You never know if you may have the virus and even if it is a one percent chance that you might, I for one wouldn’t want to risk it. So keep that in mind when you are asked to adhere to the quarantine protocol. It makes the quarantine experience more bearable in the end.