As COVID-19 casts its shadow over the school year, it is important to administer tests to prevent an outbreak of the virus on campus.
Because of this, many in the SLU community are wondering about the experiences of isolation and sickness of the students tested positive. Where are they living? What do they eat? What are the symptoms? What is isolation like?
With a small percentage of students at the University testing positive and going into isolation, it is hard to find the answers to these questions from someone who has actually been through it. As of Sept. 14, there have been a total of 22 SLU students put in isolation at the Grand Forest Apartments.
The University News was fortunate enough to be able to talk with one of these students who was recently removed from isolation and is now back in action and attending classes as normal on campus.
Contracting the Virus
The University News interviewed an anonymous student who received notice of a positive COVID-19 test result two weeks into the new semester. His friends received the same outcome.
“I believe I contracted COVID from going out with some friends without using a mask” he admitted.
The importance of wearing a mask and social distancing is tremendous and, although it does not seem like it, will make all the difference. Every person who gets COVID-19 will end up passing it on to about two other people on average, according to WebMD.
The Start of Isolation
After being suspected of having the virus due to his common symptoms, the anonymous student was moved to Hotel Ignacio where he stayed for one night. The next morning he was tested, and moved to Grand Forest Apartments after testing positive that afternoon.
“They keep you in Hotel Ignacio if you are negative or are awaiting a test. Isolation was in Grand Forest apartments. I was moved from Hotel Ignacio to Grand Forest apartments when they found out I was positive, and DPS escorted me safely,” he stated.
This student represents just how important it is to watch for symptoms and contact someone immediately.
“I self-diagnosed myself. My symptoms were a mild cough, loss of taste and smell, stomach problems, body aches, shivers, and tiredness. “It wasn’t the worst I ever felt, but was definitely a terrible experience” he wrote.
His symptoms started to gradually go away, and lingering on for a while was his loss of taste, smell and tiredness. As with any sickness, every case will have its own unique experiences, and luckily he didn’t experience the virus at its worst.
Daily Life in Isolation
While isolation may sound unpleasant to many people, like many things, it is not all bad, the anonymous student explained. During his isolation, he became very productive and efficiently stayed on top of all of his school work, in addition to making study buddies by meeting people in his Zoom classes.
“I watched YouTube and went out on my balcony to talk to one of my friends that was my downstairs neighbor. He was also positive,” explained the student after being asked how he spent his free time other than schoolwork.
Some of his least favorite parts of isolation were constant feelings of loneliness, not being able to leave his room (although walks were a must every now and then), and the food that was provided.
“On some days the food was alright but was very bad most of the time. They gave me chicken, asparagus, and potatoes. I had to order food on most days,” he shared.
When asked to share one thing he wanted everyone to know, he replied, “COVID-19 is not a hoax! Take it seriously, wear your mask, and be safe. The symptoms are not a joke!” Wearing a mask and social distancing are a critical part of life right now, and just as the recovered patient said, everyone should be participating.