slow times at jeanne mance

by samstillman

As of a few weekends ago, I was deemed as no longer a hazard to society and released from UVM’s covid isolation dorm. The isolation event was so lovely that I just HAVE to write about how amazing it was!

At about 11 am, two days after my positive covid test, I received a lovely phone call. The woman on the other on the line quickly revealed I had tested positive for the coronavirus. This was close to the 1 year anniversary from when I first had the coronavirus, and let me just say it was quite the anniversary gift. It was a kind reward for following all guidelines: masking, social distancing (I actually am a bit of a hermit, so it wasn’t hard), hand washing, etc. So of course on the verge of tears, I sat speechless when I was told the news. After about 5 seconds of fun silence, the voice on the other side of the phone gave me a generous gift of an hour to get my shit together before I had to leave. Oh joy, the fun it was, throwing all my things hastily into bags while I called my parents (who thought I was joking at first and didn’t take me seriously for a bit, which added to the enjoyment). Soon enough, my elegant chariot to Jeanne Mance arrived. I threw my stuff in the trunk, sat in the back, and had a super fun little crying/mental breakdown session. My driver was clearly a wise fellow, told me “if I deal with it once can I just deal with it again”. I was given a key and a no-drug contract to sign (because smoking weed or drinking in your room was no proper way to spend your time at a place as fun as that)  before being told to stay in my room unless I have to leave to use the restroom or acquire sustenance despite everyone in the building sharing bathrooms that weren’t cleaned every day and being exposed to each other anyway. A very not lonely or depressing time.

As a first-year student, I have to pay for a meal plan. It isn’t cheap. And for all the money I laid out, the food I received was almost priceless. Most days, I was given a wrap with lettuce, tomato, and delicious hummus that tasted of plastic and ground-up wet paper towel. One lucky day the wrap I was blessed with had dethawed frozen corn with the lettuce and tomato. Oh, how divine! The dinners were at the same level of elegance, beans in tomato sauce, quinoa with maybe squash, and one night I was gifted something that both smelled and looked like fecal matter. I had a fine time dishing out my hard-earned cash to GrubHub every single day. So kind of the isolation facilities to put my wallet on a weight loss diet while I was in isolation!

Now, as someone who has dealt with COVID before, I can tell you that it can go bad quickly, so it is important to have someone checking in on you and available to get you certain things if you need them. Out of all the times, I called the on-call staff to ask a question or try to acquire something, my call was answered an astounding zero times! Also, each person is given a case advisor, and mine very helpful and on top of things and answered none of my emails or calls a truly helpful staff member. Occasionally someone would be lingering about for help, but I did not see someone every single day. My heater in my room was stuck on high and the encouraging staff was there to ignore when I brought up the issue. Once every couple of days I saw someone going into the bathroom with disinfectant, but I was still able to have access to many heartwarming mold colonies while in the bathroom.

So everyone: if you want to be disregarded (a fun time), shut in a room (an astounding experience) and given sad meals (fine dining), head on down to the exclusive Jeanne Mance.

Categories: April 6 2021, around town, samantha stillman

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