My isolation experience at SPU

Sophia Harris, Business Manager

To keep up with COVID-19 infection prevention standards, students are housed in empty dorm rooms or apartments on campus until their quarantining period is over. (Sophia Harris)

The past two years have been some of the most nerve wracking of my life, and I am sure that it has been the same for most. Having a constant fear of a possibly deadly disease infecting me as I see my friends, family, coworkers and the public is a draining experience.

In the last year, I, along with many others, have been diagnosed with anxiety. This condition has been greatly exasperated by the circumstances we have been put in as young adults in this pandemic.

The moment I saw that my COVID-19 test came back positive, the anxiety built up from the past two years came crashing down on me all at once. Frantically talking with my roommate while contacting everyone I had seen in the past two weeks was already hard enough. These feelings were worsened by my fever, cough, faintness, nausea and stuffy nose. It felt as if I was not capable of getting out of bed, and now I had to make phone calls to everyone I knew because I had put them at risk.

I sent a message to Health Services that I tested positive. This seemed like the right thing to do. I wanted them to record my case in the numbers and know of my condition.

Despite already being symptomatic for four days, already isolating to the best of my abilities, and making sure everyone knew of their contact with me, I received a phone call from the school. I was told I had to move into isolation for another three days. This was a shock to me.

As someone with severe anxiety, a change of environment can be harmful to my mental health, and I was already a disaster from what my week had been like. I still was not too worried. They had to take care of me, I would get food sent to my door and I would get a room all to myself.

This could not be farther from the truth.

I was sent into isolation around noon and I had not yet had lunch. I asked every person I talked to about my lunch options. I called the Office of University Services and got the answer, “Ma’am we are way past lunch hours, there is no way we will get you lunch. There should be a cup of noodles in your room. Just eat that.”

As a vegetarian, I could not eat the cup of noodles, so I had my kind roommate go out of her way to get me food. If my dietary restrictions were worse or I had a serious allergy, I do not believe they would have accommodated me. Throughout my three days in isolation, I received only two meals from the school.

Around 7:00 p.m. on my first day of isolation, my first meal was delivered to my doorstep. As I opened my meal, I was excited for my diet pepsi that I ordered.

I was immediately saddened to see an apple juice in my bag instead. Oh, well, maybe the “spinach fettuccine” will be awesome. Except it wasn’t spinach fettuccine, it was penne with marinara sauce. Both meals I got seemed to be just as wrong and sloppily put together. They also both came freezing cold.

Lastly, the room I was put into was filthy. As I wiped the coffee table with one of the three disinfectant wipes I was provided with, it came up brown. The shower was filled with pink mold that I had to clean myself since I did not want to pick up a foot fungus. The sinks were also filled with a similar mold and some mysterious specs of residue seemingly from this room’s last attendant. Luckily my fever had subsided enough for me to gather the strength to clean my room, but as someone who was forced into this apartment, I should not have been the one cleaning it.

As a sick person, these circumstances were less than ideal to heal in. Although I am grateful for the ability to isolate and protect others from COVID-19 at Seattle Pacific University, the amenities provided by the school were horrible.

These times have been troubling for us all, so I am sure the school is struggling to keep up with everything, but I would have rather stayed in my dorm where my roommate could have easily brought me food and I felt more comfortable and clean. It is times like these that make me question where all of our money is going.