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Fourteen or 40 days in quarantine?

By Alaina Burris
On September 11, 2020

Photo by Alaina Burris

Everyone knew that it would happen: Eventually someone from the newspaper would end up quarantined, whether they tested positive or were in close contact of a positive case, despite testing negative. 


That second scenario? Yeah, that was me. 


Two weeks ago today, I had to go get my second COVID-19 test because there was a possibility I had been exposed. Lo and behold, I had been exposed, but I had a negative result. I had more than one case exposure, though. I had three. 


My true exposure came Wednesday two weeks ago, so ever since then, I was quarantined. My first day out was yesterday. Since I tested negative, I was allowed to quarantine in my dorm room, and my roommates were allowed to come and go.


Although quarantine may seem like a fun thing, here is an inside look of how the last 14 days went for me. I kept a record of random thoughts that I had on a whiteboard in my room; it helped my roommates know how I was feeling each day and gave them an insight to what happened.


Day One


  • “This is dumb”

    • This was after I realized I had no drinks or snacks and couldn’t go get them myself.

  • “Cried three times during Bri’s nap because I want freedom back” 

    • My roommate was asleep, so I couldn’t ask her to go get me the aforementioned drinks or snacks.

  • “Grandma, I still have things to do besides sit here” 

    • My dad told my grandmother that I was quarantined, so she called me and said, “Well, now I can call you whenever I want because you won’t be doing anything!” -- even though I still had online classes to attend and homework to do.


Day Two


  • “Can I go back to sleep?”

    • I woke up when my roommate was getting ready for work, and I just wanted some more sleep.

  • “1 Fortnite win”

    • Leveled up in Fortnite pretty quickly with not having to leave.

  • “1 Fortnite duos win”

    • Played with my roommate. 

  • “Mental breakdowns aren’t the move”

    • I think that one is self explanatory.

  • “NO ONE better do the dishes for me” 

    • I felt like I could be doing more for the room, so I planned on doing dishes the following day. I just wanted to make sure no one did them before I got to them.


Day Three


  • “Staying up late sounds like a good idea until you wake up the next day”

    • Yeah … might be done with quarantine but this is still a daily thought.

  • “First quarantine viewing of ‘Hamilton’”

    • I also watched “The Greatest Showman” immediately after.

  • “Freddy’s slaps”

    • Freddy’s was the first non-caf meal I had during quarantine, and it was the greatest thing I had ever tasted in that moment.

  • “Did the dishes, still won’t put my laundry away”

    • This will be a common theme, don’t worry; my roommate did my laundry for me on Day Two.

  • “Tyler is dumb”

    • One of my boyfriend’s roommates made a presentation on “the greatest boy band of our generation” and didn’t pick One Direction. As a longtime One Direction fan, I was offended.


Day Four


  • “I woke up … at 7:50 … for a 7:30 class…”

    • Yeah … Refer to Day Three’s first thought for the answer to this one.

  • “Brain hurts, papers are dumb, I just wanna sleep and play games”

    • I waited until the last minute to write not one, but two papers, over two separate books, that I had known about for awhile. Procrastination at its finest.

  • “1 Fortnite duos win”

    • I had been playing Fortnite since my last wins, but that goes to show just how bad I am at winning. Plus, my roommate carried us on this win.

  • “2 Fortnite Squad wins”

    • Both my roommate and boyfriend carry me to victory in this game.


Day Five


  • “I keep waking up and falling back asleep for an hour, but it’s only like 10 minutes”

    • I must have gotten some pretty good sleep that night if 10 minutes felt like an hour.

  • “1 Fortnite duos win”

    • Shoutout to my roommate for once again carrying me to victory.

  • “Second ‘Hamilton’ viewing”

    • I then proceeded to listen to the soundtrack afterward, despite watching it already.


Day Six


  • “My eyes hurt”

    • I had been staring at screens for way too long.

  • “No need for people to withhold my food”

    • My roommates were struggling to get me food sometimes because of certain situations, but I always got food eventually. 

  • “Half of my Target order got delivered early, yay” 

    • This was probably one of the highest points in quarantine. I also had a bowling ball delivered.

  • “Body … hurts … tired …” 

    • Climbing in and out of a bed that is four feet off the ground gets exhausting after having to do it so many times in a row.

  • “Monopoly with my coworkers for hours is fun”

    • My coworkers also had to quarantine, and one of them found out that Monopoly was on sale on Xbox for $5, so we all bought it and started playing. This first game lasted three hours and seven minutes.


Day Seven


  • “Couldn’t get tested for ‘rona”

    • I was supposed to get tested again just to make sure I remained negative, but the testing site I went to told me I couldn’t do that, so I left for no reason. 

  • “Crocheting is hard”

    • I’m still a beginner, but I tried doing expert level stuff that was way too difficult.

  • “Rearranged my whole area of the room. Still won’t put my laundry away.”

    • See? I said it would be a common theme. 


Day Eight


  • “Quarantine sucks. So does school and Monopoly”

    • Just at the halfway point … I was ready to be done. Online classes are harder when you have to stay in the same place, and I am just really bad at Monopoly.


Day Nine


  • “Did the dishes, cleaned the toilet, cleaned the shower, still haven’t put my laundry away” 

    • I am really exposing myself with my selective laziness; I would rather clean everything else than sit down for a couple minutes, folding clothes or hanging them up.


Day 10


  • “Finally put my laundry away”

    • Wow … It only took eight days.

  • “G-ma phone call: one hour, one minute”

    • This was actually a nice phone call with my grandma, even though I kept telling her I had things to do and she kept talking to me.


Day 11


  • “What else is evil enough to do with balloons?” 

    • My roommate’s birthday was Sept. 8, but we surprised her on Sept. 7. We had five bags of balloons blown up and put them ALL on her bed. When she got back that day, she just dove into all of them, then they ended up on our floor.

  • “I’ll do the dishes tomorrow” 

    • This usually sounds like an excuse to delay, but I actually did do the dishes the next day. 

  • “3 DAYS LEFT”

    • Can anyone tell that I was excited? 


Day 12


  • “So … many … balloons !!!” 

    • Maybe five bags was a little excessive.

  • “Health and safety tomorrow”

    • Internal panicking ensued, but we got everything cleaned.

  • “I’m makin’ a panda”

    • I got the body crocheted, but that is still all that’s done for this poor panda.


Day 13


  • “Almost done! Just gotta get through today and tomorrow!”


Day 14


  • “LAST DAY !!!!!!”


It was a long process, but it was necessary. I never developed symptoms and was relieved to be able to be done. Having to do this reminds me of just how necessary it is to wear a mask, wash hands and sanitize everything. I was lucky to test negative with what I was exposed to, but not everyone gets that lucky. Please be safe in this time of unknown. 


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