By Jenna Hart and Jibran Abbasi
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the virus has been affecting people all around the world — and students at the College are no exception. Covid-19 has continued to spread on the College’s campus, despite safety protocols at the national and local level to slow it down.
With concerns about how universities will impede the spread of the virus, numerous restrictions have been placed on student life and recreational activities. Although safety precautions and policies have been enacted at the College, the number of cases among the student population continues to rise both on and off campus.
A freshman at the College who wishes to remain anonymous reported being unsure of where exactly they caught the virus.
“I did work at my local grocery store six days a week and I’m guessing I got it there,” they said. “A lot of customers would refuse to wear a mask so it definitely put me at more risk.”
This student reported having a mild case of the virus, with physical symptoms including a stuffy nose, headache and loss of taste and smell. But the virus had also taken a toll on their wellbeing.
“Being isolated had a big impact on my mental health because I was planning to go on campus, but I clearly could not,” they said. “It was hard to understand how a virus could have so much power and hold so much weight.”
Sarah Lim, a junior computer science major, reported the same physical symptoms, along with fatigue, fever, body aches and shortness of breath — but to a lesser severity than anticipated.
“I contracted the virus in May 2020, around the same time as finals week. I felt mentally and physically drained in isolation as I had to still keep up with school and my exams,” said Lim. “My dad works at a nursing home so he contracted the virus there. He had tested positive and I contracted the virus a week later.”
Freshman biology major Dan Travers said he was following all the safety precautions when seeing his friends, but still managed to contract the virus.
“We were practicing social distancing rules,” he said. “Later, I found out one of my friends had been exposed, so I got tested on a whim and to my surprise, I had it.”
Travers said the virus did not affect his health to a life-threatening degree.
“I just felt really tired and hot. Even though I didn’t need to go to the hospital, it doesn’t mean that it was easy,” he said. “It was a rough few weeks but I am thankful I did not have it as bad as others.”
While he was in isolation at home, his parents would leave food outside the door, and then he would come out a few minutes later to get it. He says the worst part was being stuck in his room for two weeks.
Another freshman student at the College, whose identity will also remain anonymous, told a similar story.
“My mom’s coworker got it from her friend, and my mom gave it to my family, who eventually gave it to me,” she said. “I knew that the virus moved fast, but it’s kind of scary how quickly it moves when faced with it in reality.”
She said the worst symptom to come from having the virus was being lethargic. She felt like doing nothing, just wanted to sit in her room all day, and said “sleeping was the most peaceful part of the day.”
“I know I didn’t get it as bad as others, but people shouldn’t use my experience as an excuse to go outside,” said Travers. “People that get the virus have different experiences, and what may have been mild for me could really hurt others.”
Even when abiding by all rules and protocols, students have seen Covid’s contagious nature.
“I understood the severity of Covid from hearing and reading it from the news, but reality hit when people close to me had the virus on top of my own personal experience with it,” Lim said.