“It’s okay, because COVID doesn’t spread at night,” said Jessica Pulaski jokingly in an Instagram story, as she and her roommates recorded a nightly walk during quarantine.
Like Pulaski and her roommates, 32 AU students are currently under a quarantine order. Their story is a window into what it might be like to quarantine at AU.
“My roommate tested positive and I was exposed to her,” said Pulaski, a junior double major of elementary education and complimentary Spanish.
Because she was exposed to a positive case, Pulaski has to quarantine in her Fair Commons apartment for 14 days, which began Sept. 21.
Pulaski, who is also a midfielder for the women’s soccer team, said she was informed by her athletic trainer during soccer practice that she had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and was instructed to enter quarantine.
“I was pulled out of practice during warmups and told I had to go quarantine,” she said.
Her time in quarantine has already affected her coursework and other responsibilities.
“Being quarantined has very much affected my studies, athletics and extracurriculars,” said Pulaski. “For one, I am missing two weeks of working and my volunteer coaching job. I will be out just in time for their last game.”
“I am way less motivated to do my homework and I’ve missed a few classes because the video call didn’t work,” she added. “For athletics, I’m missing many practices.”
Although she has been working out in her room, she said “it’s not the same as being with the team and making those relationships.”
“My experience has been spent with my two other roommates in Fair,” Pulaski said.
“Because we have a kitchen and had just gone grocery shopping, it makes things a lot easier,” she added, describing her and her roommates’ experience. Together, they have been trying to stay busy and entertained during quarantine.
According to Pulaski, they have enjoyed “Marvel marathons” and committed to “at-home workouts.” But while in quarantine, Pulaski has learned that she can benefit from her own personal time and enjoy being with her friends, among other discoveries.
“It’s okay to slow down and have time for myself,” she said, adding that she usually has “every minute” of her days planned.
“Friends make everything better,” Pulaski said. “It’s okay to ask for help, and I am surrounded by a lot of people who love and care about me.”
Among the few things they can do during quarantine, Pulaski and her roommates take each night to walk by the road, which they have shared on Instagram.
Tess Maubach, a junior athletic training major and roommate of Pulaski’s, has had two quarantine experiences, mixed between enjoyed time with roommates and frustrations over missed obligations.
“I have been in quarantine twice since being back on campus,” said Maubach. “The first two weeks I was quarantined in my apartment because I was exposed but had tested negative. Then I was able to be free for a week and two days.”
After that, Maubach had to be quarantined again due to a roommate testing positive for COVID-19.
“My quarantine experience has been okay,” Maubach said.
She did not enjoy her first round in quarantine, mainly because she had to both stay isolated in her room and wear a mask around the apartment.
“I really couldn’t interact with my roommates for very long,” said Maubach, “and was told to avoid being near them as much as I could.”
Maubach said that having a “small” meal plan was challenging for her during her first quarantine, as she had three meals delivered to her apartment each day. Because she was delivered three meals a day, she has “very few meals” left for the semester, she added.
“I did all of my classes from my room and only went to the kitchen to get my food quickly or grab something to drink,” said Maubach about her first round of quarantine.
But in this second round of quarantine, Maubach feels better that she can spend it with her roommates.
“Since two of my other roommates and I are all quarantined, we are able to sit in the living room together and hang out without masks on in our apartment,” said Maubach.
Although she enjoys time with her roommates, Maubach has had to struggle with the inconvenience of missing classes and athletic training experience.
“It is affecting my classes,” she said, which are, “very hands-on,” and will need to be made up after quarantine.
“Athletic training majors also have a clinical rotation with different sports,” she said, adding that she has been forced behind on the rotation due to her first round in quarantine.
Her place in the rotation “had to be pushed back and it will have to be pushed back again this time,” she added.
Maubach, who is also an athlete on the AU women’s swim team, has had to miss the beginning of the swim season, which started on Sept. 21, day one of her second round in quarantine.
“It is challenging to be stuck in one place when you know everyone else gets to roam free,” said Maubach, “but I try to make the most of it.”