Quarantine quality of life

Max Bean, Contributing Writer

Only two weeks in and this school year has already been one twist and turn after another. One of the most memorable moments of the school year thus far was the Great 3A Quarantine of ’20, or as we all know it here, the Insidening. 

The initial scare was the worst. When we had gotten the news that one of us was infected, everybody ran around, tearing their hair out and screaming at the horror. To stop this rowdy behavior, the lobotomies began. Doctors clad in hazmat suits stuck the cotton swabs in our noses, feeling around for where the infection might be hiding. My nostrils burned and my eyes teared up — I felt like I could hardly breathe. Then they took the Q-tip out and told me they had to go into the other nostril. One eternity later, I was out. Crying deeply, but I was out.

My roommate and I were sealed into our rooms for the most part. In my own experience, which had only lasted a day-and-a-half, I passed the time by making shadow puppets, reading the entirety of “War and Peace” and watching Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” 17 times over. It got so isolated in there that I had to open a window and wave to those down below. Those dressed-up, posh Convocationites sometimes did wave back at the unwashed, scraggly little man in the third-story window. Other times they just looked at their phones and at each other, completely ignoring the Icelandic death metal blasting from my window.

Some brave souls tried breaking open their doors. I never saw them again. During the cold air-conditioned nights, we all huddled together in the hallway and whispered among ourselves. My roommate said he was going to try to escape. As far as I could tell, he got past the hallway and went silent. I was alone from that point onwards. 

The food wasn’t much better. For breakfast we got a single piece of fruit, which would be a banana or an orange. The lunch and dinner consisted of a single, small package of whatever main entrees they had that day. For drinks, they gave a gallon of water that must be consumed before the next meal in order to save precious space for the next gallon.

After a day-and-a-half, the majority of us were free. As far as we know, they found the infected person and shipped her back. She never felt any symptoms. Those still locked within, still testing negative in the days and weeks after exposure (the poor souls are now entering day 11), are nevertheless kept in their confines out of the fear that they may contract the wretched COVID-19 from no other source than someone walking down the hallway without a cloth over their face. The rest of us take our precautions. We wear our masks, heavy-duty disinfectant gloves, face-shields and germ-resistant wipes tied around our necks.

Those of us who were never infected had to stay in that horrible place for what felt like eons. Those who complained about the food got cease-and-desist letters. Even now the quarantined students sit, their doors barred and their hope reliant on information the administration never gives. They hope for a way in which the administration can somehow communicate with the people undergoing this gruesome process. I don’t think they’ve seen people in weeks. There is no real information — all we at 3A hear is rumors. Rumors that they may be getting out. Rumors that they may be stuck. No word from the higher-ups. No facts, only the mishmash of fiction and hope. Those feeling charitable may drop food outside their doors as long as said food is untainted by the outside world. All I wish to convey is the great lesson to be learned by this tragic tale: if not DiGiorno, get delivery.

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