My life in isolation began Sept. 2.
My second test for COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus came back positive. It took 30 minutes for the test results. I sat in an exam room waiting to hear the news.
A negative test would have left me in the clear, but that wasn’t the plan. Instead of being allowed back in the classroom and at work, I left the Brown-Lupton Health Center and went straight to my room to begin isolating.
One of my roommates exposed me to COVID-19; one of my roommates already had COVID-19; the other tested negative every time. But they were quarantined, meaning they could move around the house but weren’t supposed to leave.
Meanwhile, I was isolated in my bedroom. If I so much as stepped into the hall, I was supposed to be masked and prepared to wipe down everything I touched.
For the next two weeks, I spent day after day in my bed. I FaceTimed a lot – including with my roommates who were in the next room. I watched “Sex and the City” from start to finish. I definitely like Aidan better than Big.
I was super tired, but that might have been because I didn’t move from my bed.
My roommates turned my life into a Snapchat story. Every time I came upstairs, they updated their viewers on how I getting on with “the rona.”
I’m an extrovert so living my life from my laptop in bed was torture. I was missing the world.
My mother made the mistake of telling me to call her if I needed to cry. However, by day nine, her tune had changed. After countless calls and lots of tears, she finally said, “Sam you need to get it together.”
I said, “Mom I can’t get it together. I can’t get out of my bed. What am I supposed to do?”
She suggested a bath, but how was that going to help? It was just the other room.
What about a walk? It was 95 degrees and humid. No.
I did homework and went to class from my bed on a little lap desk. Thanks, Amazon, for overnight shipping. One of the toughest parts of classes was that they were always in the same place. They just rolled into each other.
I could walk around my bed, but I couldn’t go out or talk with anyone.
I fell behind in my classes. I kept putting off my work for the next day, and the next day and the next day. It’s not like I had any plans. I had nowhere to go, no one to see and no motivation.
I’d make my roommates come talk to me with the door open, just so I could see another human in the flesh.
“Our social life isn’t the same without you,” said my friend Lindsey, a junior at TCU.
Friends dropped a care package off for me at the “Rona house,” as they called my home. The package included hand sanitizer, lotion and a candle, all of which I couldn’t smell.
While I dealt with extreme boredom, I was lucky my symptoms were only mild.
Ten days after I went into isolation, I emerged from my room, having testing negative twice. My friends’ social life has returned, and my mom is happy to hear I have gotten it together.