I had been on the college’s campus for 19 days and received six negative coronavirus tests thus far. It was a Tuesday night, and I was leaving the gym when I received a FaceTime call from some of my friends. I was hiking up a hill in a blizzard when one of them said she tested positive for COVID-19.
I’d been in a cautionary quarantine before, but this was different. Quarantining on a college campus is an entirely different beast than quarantining at home.
The food was somehow worse than the dining hall food. That is, when I actually got food. The first night, I was out of luck; I’d been notified before I was able to go to the dining hall, and I wasn’t transported to quarantine housing until after dinner. The second night, I got a knock on my door with a bag of snacks and one hot meal, except the dinner was missing. I had to call down to the front desk, but they couldn’t answer, so I had to call back multiple times, which made me feel like an inconvenience.
I received my seventh negative COVID test result.
The pandemic had already resulted in a semester and a half of attending college remotely, plus the first two weeks of this semester had been spent online. I would have been spending the first week of in-person classes, in person, but alas, I was confined to my quarantine room.
It’s exhausting staying in the same room indefinitely with mountains of homework to do. I felt as if all my motivation had evaporated. I went into this quarantine feeling as optimistic as possible. I was hoping productivity would be at an all-time high, but there’s a reason solitary confinement is such a serious consequence. It’s awful, feeling as if you’re being punished when you’re being responsible.
I received my eighth negative COVID test result.
I’m hopeful it will get better. It’s really tough having the same, singular room for classes, homework, work, extracurricular activities, sleeping, eating, exercising, “socializing.” There is no sense of relaxation in here whatsoever and there’s no escaping. My friends on the third floor can hear someone screaming daily. Quarantine really challenges your mental and emotional strength.
I’ve received my ninth negative COVID test result.
I talked to my friends on FaceTime and Zoom for eight hours straight on Saturday. Quarantine isn’t fun at all, but I do feel like we’re bonding on a different level as we go through this challenging time, very much separated but “together.”
Emerson means brave and powerful. It was essential to channel this brave and powerful energy during eleven long nights in quarantine.