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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

As much as we all hoped for those two weeks off in 2020 to end COVID-19, things clearly didn’t pan out that way. It’s been almost three years since then, and there’s still signs everywhere for masks, as well as ever-changing outlines and information about the infamous illness. 

You can imagine my surprise when I woke up after the Rhianna concert (the superbowl for most people) to a complete loss of taste and smell. I thought it couldn’t be, but a positive at home test proved otherwise. I managed to survive the entire pandemic without catching Covid, but somehow couldn’t defend myself from it now. 

Being trapped in my dorm room all week definitely gave me time to reflect on the pandemic we have tried so hard to move past. One thing I can’t get off my mind is the blame and guilt associated with having Covid.

It’s ridiculous to blame someone for getting sick; clearly no one wants to be, yet there’s always been stigma around Covid. Maybe I was too young to notice it before, but it can’t have always been that way. What happened to bringing our sick friends and family warm soup and ‘get well soon’ cards? Why do we expect someone with merely the sniffles to quarantine and mask up? 

I felt the sting of guilt when I had to warn friends and roommates about my illness. Obviously, I was more than happy to comply with guidelines and regulations, but why was I more terrified of infecting others than I was worried about my own health? 

We talk about the mental health issues associated with isolation and the lack of socialization, which has unfortunately been a huge part of our lives these past few years. However, not many acknowledge how individuals are contributing. Fear, blame, and guilt all originate from how we treat others in our community. Yet, it’s easier to criticize politics and statistics than ourselves. 

I’m taking my Covid quarantine as a learning experience. Of course no one wants to put themselves in harm’s way, but it’s important to remember that the quarantined are going through more stress than you realize. Look out for your friends and family, it’s never a bad idea to check in.

Kate Paxton

CU Boulder '26

Kate Paxton is a writer and member of Her Campus Colorado University Boulder. She writes articles covering a variety of topics like wellness, college life, and films. Previously, she was an editor for her high school's newspaper The Mustang, where she oversaw the comedy section and contributed articles. She is currently a sophomore at CU Boulder, majoring in psychology with a pre-health emphasis. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, binge watching sitcoms, and therapeutically cleaning her room.