Of the 55 positive COVID-19 tests (out of 41,011, as of September 2nd), the odds of me knowing one of the 55 people was extremely low. However, I did happen to see a friend of mine (outside, with masks on) who ended up testing positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes within six feet of each other, which made me a person of close contact. While it was hard to process the idea of not leaving a quarantine room for 14 days, the accommodations provided by Boston University have been good; here’s what it’s like to live in quarantine housing at BU.
To clarify: Quarantine housing is where you go when you live in an on-campus residence and have been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation housing is where you go when you have tested positive.
I am quarantining in 575 Commonwealth Avenue, known to most BU students as HoJo. I am in what is regularly a triple dorm, though of course, I am the only one in the room. My roommate is quarantined across the hall. The room has three lofted beds, three dressers, and three desks. It has a bathroom that includes a shower. I was provided with sheets, a blanket, a pillow, paper towels, wipes, toilet paper, trash bags, pads, tampons, four COVID tests, and a whole lot of food.
I am really impressed with the amount of food BU has provided! Ready for the super long list? I’ve got two packages containing 24 water bottles each, a package of Gatorade bottles, plates, cups, silverware, instant coffee, several types of cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit cups, many different types of granola bars, popcorn, potato chips, dried fruit, Oreos, cookies, microwave mac and cheese, microwave ramen, peanut butter and jelly, instant soup mixes, and some rice bowls. And that’s just the non-perishable food.
On my first day here I received a drop-off of food to put in the micro-fridge, including milk, yogurt, butter, a loaf of bread, and four reheatable meals. I have some dietary restrictions, so the food that didn’t work for me was replaced on my second day here.
It does feel a little lonely, but the school has set up virtual hangouts for students in quarantine that I will check out in a few days. Besides the obvious human interaction, the thing I miss the most from my regular dorm is my foam mattress topper.