What’s it like to be quarantined on campus?

Jayme Bauman

It’s really easy to go from trying to fit everything into your schedule, making sure you can get where you need to go on time and trying to get ready what needs to get ready, to suddenly having to tell everyone that now you can’t do what you said you were doing to do.

Any previous obligations now mean nothing because it’s time to move out of your dorm room and into quarantine.
At least that was my experience. I went from getting ready for orientation and preparing myself for the first week of classes, to being told that I was exposed to COVID-19 and I had to go into quarantine for 14 days.

I could go home, of course, but then I’d risk giving COVID-19 to my family. I live in a basement, sure, but I also live with my grandparents; it would be easy to pass it on to them. So, I, along with others exposed, got sent off to Gruenhagen Conference Center.

In a really simple way, it sucks. It sucks worse than most things unless you’ve experienced death or maybe you were really unlucky and got an STI.

Quarantine in GCC means frozen food heated up in a microwave, being assigned where to go to the bathroom and experiencing the unsureness of UW Oshkosh administration regarding what to do with those students exposed to COVID-19.

On one hand, UWO is doing the best it can. We’re open; we have to deal with it. Campus must deal with the costs, financial and otherwise.

On the other hand, it’s strange how it’s being handled. You’re not allowed to have food delivered to you, so no UberEats or DoorDash. Having food delivered is considered risky, but the contact tracer will tell you that it’s okay to go out and get groceries.

Quarantine is about as messed up as 2020 has been itself. It’s easy to tell that even the administration doesn’t know how we’re supposed to be doing things, how we’re supposed to stay safe in quarantine, how we’re supposed to keep other people safe or what to do when your exposure turns out to be fake.

With the “quick” COVID-19 test popping out false positives, there’s concern. We have to do what we have to do: Be cautious and make sure we curb the spread.

Imagine packing up as much as you can, rushing across campus to GCC — where you’re not even getting all the information you wish you could — all at once.

You send out emails, questioning the reasons for the things you can and cannot do, while also seeing how other schools are doing it because we live in a very connected world.

Then, you’re told you experienced a false positive, but you might not be allowed to leave anyway until your 14 days are over.

I experienced three days of quarantine before being released because the person I was exposed to had gotten a false positive. However, there was the threat of being forced to remain in quarantine anyway. The school had to wait to decide because they had to ask first.

You’d think they would’ve prepared for this situation beforehand, considering the danger of a global pandemic and opening a school in the middle of it. They were as prepared as we were when trying to pack what we’d need for 14 days as quickly as possible.

Why? Because the scenario was incredibly unlikely.

It raises questions about other “unlikely” scenarios that are probably going to occur as school goes on. As kids party and spread COVID-19, the administration needs to figure things out and hopefully make GCC quarantine less terrible.