Two Sides of the Same Quarantine

by Lauren Raziano & Adrianne Hutto, Contributors

Spending two weeks of your first year in college in an eight by eight isolation room is not what we would call ideal…

On my first day I arrived at 3:30 p.m. and learned that dinner would be served at 5 p.m. 

I was told to order through the google sheet for food and also email dining services so I would be able to receive dinner for the night.

When dinner came for the rest of the hall, I did not receive a bag and instead had to reach my roommate in Lee to deliver food to Horan and email a Residence Life director so that they could bring the pizza to my door. 

I then scanned the paper and put in my breakfast order for the next day. When filling out the form you must put your name, Manhattan ID number, room number, and any food allergies. Unfortunately, I have food allergies to bananas, melon, pineapple and honeydew. 

My first morning I was so happy when I received two bags of food for breakfast and I believed it was an apology from the dining staff from the night before, but when I opened the bag I was shocked. Banana and strawberry yogurt and a carton of sliced pineapple and melon were given to me in the bag. The two worst things that could have been given to me were now sitting on my desk. I called my mom and complained, how did no one catch this mistake? Do they not care about my health or safety? What would’ve happened if I had an allergy attack and no one or helped me and I died in this room?

I sent an email immediately to William Atkinson, Area director of Residence Life, and the Dining staff. I received a response from William at 1 p.m. and the dining staff responded at 6 p.m. Frankly, I was astonished that they took so long to respond to my health concern. After I was told in the dining services email that, “our team will make note of the details below moving forward” I thought I would be safe. I was wrong. I continued to receive fresh bananas in my brown paper bags. 

Although the college promised that they were following all COVID restrictions, they were not. The quarantine requirements according to the New York Department of Health states that, “the individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be provided in any shared bathroom”

They did not give us any cleaning supplies, such as wipes or towels, and only gave three rolls of toilet paper for two weeks. And when emailed about toilet paper they would only give a single roll at a time. 

I felt continuously trapped and deprived of any contact with other people. There were no options for me to get any fresh air into my room or to connect with other people during my first two weeks at college, which is a pivotal time for a new freshman. 

If my state is on the list two weeks before coming back to Manhattan for the second semester, it would be worth it for me to pay for the Airbnb as I would choose to never go back into Horan Hall ever again. 

  • Lauren Raziano 

My mother and Resident Assistance dropped me off in my room for isolation in Horan Hall after moving everything into my dorm in Lee Hall. I was handed a bag with hand sanitizer and a thermometer and a slip of paper with a QR code that was used for ordering food for the next day. I was exhausted and dehydrated after spending an hour in the car driving to the Bronx and two hours moving everything up to my room. It had not occurred to me that I would have to make sure to provide my own food and water for the first night I was there. I had intended to drink the sink water, however, I learned that the water was off-white and smelled unsanitary. I was lucky that the student in the other room of the suite had an extra water bottle. My mother and I panicked trying to figure out if she was able to drop some off. After discussions with the RA we were informed that she was allowed to provide me with some extra items that I had no idea I would need for quarantine, including toilet paper. 

My first night in isolation I scanned the QR code to order my meals for the next morning. I got bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, and mac and cheese for dinner. In the morning I received three bags, all of them with a bagel, cream cheese, a fruit cup, an orange and a silverware set. I stopped ordering breakfast and lunch after that.  

At lunch, I had the same issue, so when I ordered my meal for the next day I left a note in the comments section informing them that I had received three orders of everything. The next morning I heard the food being delivered so I ran out hoping to tell someone that I was receiving too much food. When I did, the man told me that multiple people had had this problem and asked if I wanted to keep the extra food for today. Since it would have just been thrown out, I decided to keep them. 

As a result of the excess food and the lack of a working trash shoot, the trash room began to pile up with brown paper bags. Because I would still get extra meals on occasion and would not finish the ones I was given, most of my food got thrown out. 

By the last three days of quarantine I was tired of eating the same three or four meals, so I decided to use Uber Eats until I was able to leave the isolation and go back to my dorm. While the variety of the food was there, for anyone who has to spend two weeks in quarantine at Horan Hall, the meals become repetitive and undesirable. 

– Adrianne Hutto