Life in campus quarantine: What 3 students have experienced

A wing in Bates Runner Hall will be used to house students relocated due to positive COVID diagnoses. Masks are required in all shared areas of dorms, according to WKU’s restart plan.

Yvonne Pillman

When students who live on campus test positive for COVID-19, they can either quarantine at their home or a designated dorm.

Madison Newby, a freshman communications science and disorders major from Pekin, Indiana, was exposed to COVID-19 from a friend. Newby did not have any symptoms of the virus, but she still must quarantine.

While Newby quarantined at Bates Runner Hall, she had many problems with the food services, classes and sorority gatherings, she said. Newby is a part of Sigma Kappa, and she missed her first new member meeting for the sorority. Newby missed many classes due to COVID-19, and she said she was very behind in classes because of her circumstances.

“The bathrooms had lots of dead bugs and live ants, looks like they sprayed and didn’t sweep up the dead bugs,” Newby said.

To get tested, Newby had to go off campus to  Zip Clinic Urgent Care. The testing on campus was not open on weekends at the time, she said.

Newby said the testing was not bad, there was just a lot of discomfort.

For quarantining, Newby said students should bring food, pillows and anything to help you feel comfortable.

Casey Brantley, a sophomore musical theater major from Lebanon, Tennessee, was exposed to COVID-19 in his dorm due to the many people he is surrounded by, he said. Brantley is still awaiting the result of testing. 

“You never know where people are going or [what] safety precautions they’re taking” Brantley said.

Brantley is quarantining at Barnes Campbell Hall on campus. He is on the second floor, which is assigned to symptomatic positive cases, he said.

“I feel so unsafe being around people who are positive, when I could still test negative, I am scared to use the bathroom” Brantley said.

Brantley’s symptoms were headaches, mild temperature and sinus issues. Brantley went to a test site at Graves Gilbert on campus.

“It was standard, the questions I asked they did not have answers for,” Brantley said.

Brantley said there is a lack of concern for the public health when he sees students who are quarantining gathering with others. Many students are sharing vapes, socializing with others, and visiting each other in the quarantine halls, he said.

There have been issues with food and water at the dorm, he said. Students were given three water bottles for five days and two for the weekend.

“I thought if you were sick, you should stay hydrated,” Brantley said.

Brantley said he missed a lot during his quarantining on campus, including his performance classes and hanging out with his friends safely.

Jaylin Smith, a sophomore social studies and cultural anthropology major from Culleoka, Tennessee, was living with her boyfriend when she tested positive for COVID-19. Her boyfriend was away for army camp and contracted COVID-19.

To get tested, Smith went to a drive-in test site. After her results came back positive, she had daily check-ins from the health department. She had to report every time her symptoms got worse.

Smith’s symptoms were extreme fatigue, loss of taste and smell, cough, headaches and a fever. 

It was her second time having COVID-19, but Smith said she is doing better. She did not have symptoms until a week of having it. 

“I felt pretty normal, but when it hit, I was really exhausted,” she said. 

Smith recommends lots of rest and hydration for others with COVID-19.

“Quarantine has been hard since I know my friends are all back on campus, but I know it’s better for me to stay home” Smith said. 

Everyone should be wearing a mask, even if you feel like it is an inconvenience, Smith said.

Smith’s classes are all online this semester, but she is doing better in her classes even though it’s hard for her to pay attention due to her symptoms, she said. Having online classes allows Smith to work at her own pace.

“I think the one thing that scared me was who I came into contact with when I was positive,” Smith said. 

She encountered others even though she did not have symptoms, exposing others without knowing.