I wrote three different versions of this piece. All three were written in what I thought at the time was my last time in quarantine. Now I can confidently say this is my last time in quarantine (as I actually have COVID). In this piece, in which I put more effort than any work submission during my stay at Notre Dame, I will give a power ranking of the places I quarantined, my 10 tips for success and ‘I have some space left, some thoughts of general life that I was able to realize during my time.
For reference, here are my stays in quarantine:
- October 14-18 at The Foundry South: contact traced, negative, alone
- October 25-30 at University Edge: Contact traced, negative, in an apartment with 5 roommates
- November 14-16 at Embassy Suites: Symptoms, Negatives, Only
- February 25-March 4 at Hampton Inn: contact traced, negative, alone
- March 10-March 16 at the Fairfield Suites: contact traced, negative, alone
- March 24-March 31 at Embassy Suites: contact traced, negative, alone
- April 9-April 16 at Holiday Inn Express: contact traced, negative, only
- April 20-April 29 at Embassy Suites: tested positive for COVID, alone
This represents a total of more than 50 days in quarantine during the 2020-2021 academic year.
I was in six different locations, but I was at Embassy Suites three times.
Number 6: Hampton Inn
My fourth time in quarantine was for a week at the Hampton Inn. The reason it’s at the bottom of my list is for two big reasons. The first is that the A / C unit near the window would not stop blowing cold air for seven consecutive days. I even tried to cover it with my comforter, but something started to smell weird and the comforter got very hot, so I took it off. The second reason was that the bathtub faucet was leaking all the time. He had a good view of the McDonald’s drive-thru, however.
Number 5: Holiday Inn Express
The Holiday Inn was a strange stay, and I have heard even stranger stories from friends here. I had two queen beds which is nice; my eyesight is not great, but I hear music and cheers liveliness on weekend evenings. Guess someone escaped here, so one night security had to come and check that I was both in my room and that no one else was there. The Holiday Inn does not have the certain x factor that other places have.
Number 4: Fairfield Inn & Suites
The Fairfield Inn & Suites was a good stay, but I lucked out with my room. Some of my friends have got worse and smaller rooms. In room 512, I had two TVs and a separate living area. The window opened to a nice view of the campus and the sculpture park and the air conditioning unit worked well. The interior designer took it out of the park here, as even the bathroom had a cute little framed photo of a bunch of doors across the ND campus (it’s the little things that count).
Number 3: The South Foundry
The Foundry South was my rookie quarantine season. I remember texting my family group chat telling them I was going to quarantine like it was a big deal (on the seventh or eighth time I don’t even think I told them , they just assume I’m still in it now). That quarantine was filled with excessive Netflix observations, driving trips from my friends, Zoom calls with new quarantine friends, and even a virtual watch from the ND football game. Looking back now, it’s kind of like when you’re a high school kid remembering your first year. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
Number 2: University Edge
In November, I spent five days at University Edge. The best part about it was that I was actually in a four room unit with two of my closest friends, so their company made that exponentially more bearable. However, Edge had the worst interior design by far, as it lacked any type of personality. The bed was like sleeping on an oversized piece of toast, with a blanket that looked more like a rug. The wall to wall carpet was a nice touch. The strangest moment happened when I looked out my window one night and there was a stranger with a lightsaber. I also watched an entire season of “The great British pastry fair “ during my stay here, so I have good memories.
Number 1: Embassy Suites
The Embassy Suites was luxurious. Two of the three times I was there, I was given a two room suite, with two queen beds and a living space. I had two televisions, a desk, a couch, a chair, and a large bathroom. I can only imagine how much this room would cost per night on a football weekend. One of my roommates must have turned 21st quarantined anniversary at Embassy Suites, but at least we were in a nice hotel. Even though they wouldn’t open, the floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light. If I could spend every quarantine in one place, it would be in the Embassy Suites.
So there you have it, my power rating.
From my approximately 1,272 hours, or about 14% of the past year, that I spent in ND quarantine this year, I have learned many lessons. Here are my top 10 tips I made for you, in case you find yourself in quarantine.
- When someone knocks on your door at 8 a.m. on the first morning of quarantine, don’t panic, it’s just breakfast. No one is trying to break in or break down your door.
- If you ever try to use your hotel phone to call your friend’s room, make sure you know their room number. There have been several times that I have called the wrong person.
- If you’re looking for more interaction, try using Airdrop or Bluetooth to send items to people in rooms around you. Of my eight times in quarantine, only three people agreed and had conversations with me. Yell at Nate, Carissa and Patricia.
- If you want to go even further than AirDrop, try doing Morse code with your flashlight outside your window. I did this on my last stay and was able to exchange room numbers with a random person entirely via morse code. We called each other on the hotel phone and became midlife friends. Shout at Caroline.
- Create / watch Quarantined TikToks.
- It’s a trick I learned the hard way, twice. If you are planning to have your hair cut, do one !!! You never know when you are going to leave for a week, and by the time you know it, it is too late to get a cut. Cut it.
- Spend time working on your quarantine release playlist. When you come out of the Q as a free person, you need good music to listen to.
- Drink the absurd amounts of Dasani water bottles they give you. Once you’re free you’ll never want it again, but staying hydrated is key when you’re locked in.
- Quarantine food with you. You save a lot Flex points when you’re on Q’d, so the last few times I brought pizza from the modern market with me. The people at the test center find it funny.
- Do not try to steal hangers from hotels. This is not that I know of, but when you return to your dormitory you will find that the metal bars of the hotel hangers are designed to be a different size than the usual ones, so they will not work on the hotel. wardrobe in your bedroom. , and you’ll end up with unnecessary hangers. You will feel stupid, at least that’s what I heard.
Now you’ve seen my power rankings and my top 10 tips. Hope you enjoyed them. I will end my guide with some quarantine wisdom.
Before the end of the year, and we get back to a more normal year next year, take the time to realize the efforts made this year. Hotel employees at quarantine sites, security teams, drivers of quarantine vans, everyone at the test center and the Covid response unit and everyone on campus who is is adapted this year. They don’t do this to annoy anyone or “waste your time in ND”, they do it for the exact opposite reason. So if you can, even if you don’t say it out loud, thank them all for making this possible. Without them you would have been in your room at home all year round, and I think this year would have been a lot worse as well. For every moment I spent locked in quarantine, I started to value my time outside of quarantine even more. Soon, for all of us, we will be graduating and we will not be able to spend days as a student at Notre Dame. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 40s the most, it’s enjoying being a student at Notre Dame, and realizing how lucky we are! There are so many people who would give so much just to be in our place right now, even if this place is alone in a hotel room for 53 days.
PS I am going to meet Fr. Jenkins.
John Sebastian “Jazz” Thörn
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.