Day in the Life: Isolation

These past few days have been marked by a rise in cases of COVID-19 among students at UVA. As students adhere to the administration’s guidelines regarding quarantine, isolation, and exposure, many of us find ourselves in precarious situations with an unclear road forward. WUVA Student Life spoke to one such student, Luca Finkbeiner, to get a view of how life has been for him since experiencing an exposure.

“I moved into a 10 person house this year with the tacit understanding that, at some point, we would probably have a serious COVID scare. That idea suddenly became reality on Thursday when my housemate’s girlfriend, who frequently sleeps the night, received notice that a test she had taken for the virus on Tuesday had come back positive, after she had had some light symptoms the day of. 

Since she started feeling symptomatic, the girlfriend and my housemate had worn masks in our common spaces, but a regular Thursday morning scene of people hanging out in the kitchen still turned somber when the message about her test results came back around noon. 

Immediately five people went to go get tested. We all started to wear masks when we weren’t in our rooms, and we weren’t leaving the house at all anymore. I wasn’t feeling incredibly worried – no one had spent a huge amount of time exposed, and no one in the house was symptomatic. If I was concerned, it was mostly because other than housemates getting tested and everyone staying in their rooms, I didn’t really know what the right thing to do in this situation was. 

As I write this two days later, two of the people who went and got tested on Thursday have come back negative, and no one is symptomatic yet. I’m thankful that I was still able to go to my classes, eat, and go to a shift at my job, all without having to leave my room.

If I got any direct positives out of this situation, that much time alone in the same space finally gave me the motivation and time to finish decorating my room – and now it looks super good (and there’s way less random junk on my floors).

As more and more tests come in and the more time we spend all being asymptomatic, the more confident I am that my situation will end up being a lucky one – and hopefully I won’t have to eat my words.”

Luca’s situation is becoming eerily more common as the virus’ encroachment becomes our immediate reality. As Luca and his housemates wait out the isolation period post exposure, their situation remains up in the air. This is in no way unique, as cases continue to spread on and off Grounds, and


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