Lizzy Mesnik on Her Quarantine Experience

Lizzy Mesnik is a sophomore Health and Exercise Science major living in Dogwood residence hall on campus. Recently, she was assigned to quarantine in the Best Western hotel due to exposure to the COVID-19 virus. I sat down with Lizzy to interview her about her experience in isolation and any recommendations she has for students who have to isolate themselves in similar situations. 

Her Campus: What was the most challenging part of being away from “home” and being isolated from friends?

Lizzy Mesnik: The most challenging part of my experience was the loneliness I felt all morning, afternoon, and evening. We don’t realize how crucial human interaction is to our happiness and comfort until we are locked away in isolation. By the end of my time at the Best Western, all I wanted was a hug from a friend. Facetime and text messages do not do human interaction justice.

HC: How much exposure to other people, the outdoors, or the other parts of the hotel did you have?

LM: Someone who is in quarantine is able to pick up food they ordered on apps like GrubHub and UberEats, however, since I was in isolation, I was unable to leave my room for the entirety of my stay. I had no access to the outside world, other people, or other parts of the hotel. I was trapped in my room. The halls were monitored by cameras and occasional security guards. 

HC: What did you miss the most when you were in isolation?

LM: When I was in isolation, I missed being able to go on walks or runs outside. I missed being able to do my homework outside of Benson and hanging out with my friends at night. 

HC: Were there healthy options available? Opportunities to exercise?

LM: Yes, there were healthy options available to eat, but they were not tasty foods. The day you move in, you have to fill out a preference and allergy form. I wrote down that I was a vegetarian, however they gave me meat for my meals for the first 48 hours. I had to call down several times in order for them to give me food I could actually eat. There was no opportunity to exercise, and little space in the room to even try to exercise.

HC: What would you recommend to any students who have to self-isolate for 14 days?

LM: I would recommend bringing water bottles because they do not give you enough water to last through the day. Also, I would recommend bringing a blanket or pillow from home to make the room feel more comfortable and less foreign.