After being informed that they were close contacts to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, Multimedia photographers Emery Little and Alex Venero were required to quarantine for 14 days since their last contact. Little lives on campus and was moved into the Village at Vanderbilt apartments, while Venero was able to stay in her studio apartment at Elliston 21. Keep scrolling to hear about a day in the life of their quarantine experience.
AV: As a student living off-campus this year, I was able to quarantine in my own apartment at Elliston. It was nice to be in a familiar space in my own bed and not have to move somewhere else for the quarantine period. My apartment is furnished and decorated with photos and personal items.
EL: In the Village at Vanderbilt apartment, there were two twin beds and a stack of sheets and blankets waiting to be used—quite a different sight from Alex’s cozy room complete with string lights and a photo wall.
EL: In on-campus quarantine, I picked up food from the parking garage below my apartment from 6-7 p.m. each night. I received a brown paper bag with that night’s dinner and the next day’s breakfast and lunch. They accommodated dietary restrictions, but there were no further options for customization besides that.
Sometimes the lunches were very unappetizing, which was frustrating since I couldn’t choose my meals. I received a sandwich with avocado so brown it was unrecognizable, and almost all the breakfasts contained eggs (which I don’t eat). Some days, ordering a poké bowl was the only thing that kept me going. I was also given an array of snacks and drinks when I first arrived.
AV: Unable to leave my apartment to go to the grocery store, I turned to Vanderbilt Dining Services for help on how to get meals in quarantine. I have a meal plan but was provided with “Isolation Money” which I could use on GrubHub, a partnership Vanderbilt developed this year. All of my meals in quarantine, with the exception of the food I already had, were ordered through GrubHub. It was contact-free delivery left outside my door, and there was only one instance where the food never made it outside my door. I chose from a wide selection of types of food and even ordered from student favorites such as ‘Za Pizza, Frutta Bowls and Baked Bear.
AV: Though my favorite study spot is Central Library, quarantine forced me to do all work either from my kitchen table or couch. Though I do not have an actual balcony like Emery did, I would still open the door that faced the courtyard to enjoy some fresh air while studying. I found that trying to study and relax in the same space can sometimes be a challenge, so I used music to boost my mood and to help me get her work done.
EL: I chose to drag my desk outside to enjoy the small balcony and get fresh air while I attended my classes. The balcony was the highlight of my stay, but that’s not saying much. Sometimes friends of the Village inhabitants would come and sit in the courtyard, talking to their quarantined buddies and updating them about life in the outside world.
AV: Quarantine is certainly not the ideal situation in many ways, but I was lucky to be able to stay in my apartment through the experience. Lots of Tik Toks and FaceTime calls were made to get through it, and I have never appreciated the outdoors more than I do now.
EL: Honestly, quarantine was pretty bad. Being alone for 24 hours a day when you’re used to living with five of your friends is a huge shock to the system. I must have called all of my relatives every single day just to hear someone else talk. However, I’m sure there are worse places and circumstances to quarantine in and I’m just glad it’s over. I never thought I’d miss choosing which Kissam bowl to grab for lunch, but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything.