What It’s Like to be Quarantined at Harvard
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be medically quarantined at Harvard? Maybe you’ve heard horror stories, or maybe you’re heard how it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you. Lucky for you, this Flyby writer was in quarantine, so here’s some ~investigative~ (if you can call being held somewhere by force "investigative") reporting on all the deets of medical quarantine at Harvard:
HUHS put me in a DeWolfe room (flashback to my freshman dorm). It’s technically a double, though I am isolated in here, so there are two beds in the bedroom. The other room is a common room. It’s also pretty spacious — I’ve got two desks and two chairs, a fridge, and an oven, though the oven is pretty much useless. I think I’m also supposed to have a couch, but I walked in to find a cryptic note left on one of the desks:
“Hi! We borrowed your couch. Security said it was okay if we left this note.” - The room across the hall.
Considering the note was covered in dust, I doubt “borrow” was the right word, but okay, I guess. I still have two beds.
You can’t go to class. You can’t have visitors over. In fact, they close the door and don’t give you a key — meaning if you leave, you’re screwed. When you pick up stuff outside of your room, you have to wear a mask. For the days you’re in quarantine, you can’t even leave the room you’re in. (Don’t worry, they provide you a room with a bathroom.) You may be wondering — what about food?
All your food has to come from HUDS — you can’t order from anywhere else. This is honestly the worst part of quarantine. No Poke for five days is a living hell, yes, but at least you’re not infecting anybody. You have to order the next day’s meals by 7:30 p.m, and you can order anything from the grille or the HUDS menu. They bring it to your door and basically ding-dong ditch you. They knock, leave the food in a bag, and run away for fear of catching whatever it is you have. It’s kind of funny, to be honest.
Nurses call you twice a day to see how you’re doing. Word also spreads quickly, so you also get tons of calls from friends and family. But the most interesting call you’ll get is from the Cambridge Public Health Department, who will try to figure out where you got the disease and who you could potentially give it to.
Honestly, Harvard hooks you up pretty well with snacks when you’re in quarantine. They gave me 9 packs of Goldfish, a whole box of granola bars, pudding, chicken soup, 5 bottles of water, and 10 bottles of red Gatorade. (Blue would’ve been too good to be true, but luckily I order blue powerade from HUDS every day.) You can also call Securitas, and they can make an effort to get anything else that you want. I’ve made it a habit to say that my snacks are "looking like a snack" today before eating them...has a lack of human contact already driven me crazy? You decide!
You can bring stuff from your dorm room before you head into quarantine. I brought more bottled water, all my schoolwork, my laptop, and my phone. They suggest you bring bedding and your work, but not to worry, they also provide you with things. Here’s a list of everything they gave me:
Also I have two beds, so I made a megabed. Yep. I have a megabed.
So...is it really that bad? As I eat Goldfish in bed, am in limited pain because of a lot of Advil and Tylenol, and bingewatch Netflix, I really can’t complain.