This semester, I was moved into quarantine housing at the Charlottesville Home2 Suites. While isolation, boredom and decreased freedom result in unique responses for every individual, my quarantine experience was relatively pleasant. Daily online conversations with friends and family helped me stave off feelings of isolation. Additionally, the structure of my classes and extracurricular activities also allowed me to maintain my schedule. I found solace in learning as a source of freedom. Based on my experience, I am content with the University’s resources for quarantined students.
Before entering quarantine, I was provided with the contact information of multiple people to reach out to if I had any issues. Since I did not have any reason to reach out to these individuals, I cannot judge their effectiveness — however, I was thoroughly satisfied with the amount of resources that were made available to me.
I was first contacted by the Virginia Department of Health who informed me that I had been contact traced, and they offered to answer any of my questions or concerns. They then provided information about the general quarantine process. I was next put into contact with a University Dean who confirmed the information and described the next steps the University would be taking with regards to my safety and wellbeing. Not long after, someone reached out with more information about where I would be spending my quarantine, transportation to and from the location and the expectations of my stay. The details of this conversation were confirmed in a followup email to our conversation.
Shortly after I officially entered quarantine, I was emailed by a member of the University’s Isolation and Quarantine Care Team who offered their personal support during the duration of my stay. The email included information about quarantine expectations, wellbeing and mental health support, meals and dining, trash disposal, linen and towel replacement, mail and information about ending the quarantine. Halfway through my quarantine, this person followed up with me to make sure I still did not have any questions and provided information about my departure process.
The resources provided by the University were thorough and extensive. I had no questions that they couldn’t readily answer. As far as I understand, the University guidelines were completely aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s quarantine expectations.
While I cannot speak on behalf of others, I was also thoroughly pleased with the quarantine accommodations provided. The hotel room was clean, spacious and comfortable. There was sufficient storage for my clothes and the various items I brought with me. The hotel room had a large fridge and microwave, which made storing and reheating food an easy process.
Additionally, I was pleased with the meal options. Before my arrival, my room was stocked with many bottles of water to ensure I stayed hydrated — and with every meal delivered, the University provided an additional two bottles of water. The meal schedule included delivery twice a day. In the afternoon, we were given lunch. Then during the evenings, we were given our dinner for that day and breakfast for the next day.
As a vegan, I have a particular diet — nevertheless, the University provided ample options. I will admit that the first day was a rocky start for me, as I was provided with non-vegan options. While I could still eat my entrees, some of the side options — regular milk for instance — were clearly not vegan. However, that night, University Dining sent out a survey to receive feedback on the quality of our meals. I indicated that I had been provided with non-vegan food. Once I submitted that survey, I never again received any non-vegan food. The University was responsive and patient with my dietary restrictions.
Despite all of the University accommodations, students have been recklessly ignoring the restrictions of their quarantine. A recent tweet reveals that quarantined students have been gathering together in hotel halls and within the hotel gym. This behavior is unacceptable. Quarantine exists as a measure to protect the University and surrounding community from students who may have contracted the COVID-19 virus. Simply put, students in quarantine do not know whether they will test positive or not. Those who choose to gather while in quarantine risk endangering themselves, hotel staff and the entire University community. These actions blatantly break quarantine rules and are entirely inexcusable.
Many of my friends have shared concerns about entering quarantine. While I cannot speak to everyone’s experience, mine was fairly pleasant. The University effectively answered all my questions, provided me with copious resources and contacts and was accommodating to my personal dining restrictions. I am satisfied with the University’s support during my time in quarantine. Hence, I disapprove of quarantined students gathering and encourage them to reach out to the University for support if they are in need.
Jessica Moore is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Cavalier Daily. Columns represent the views of the authors alone.