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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Experiencing isolation in the Cave

At the end of Winter Term, the number of COVID-19 cases increased rapidly, requiring more space for isolating students than Carleton initially provided. The Cave, a student-run music and entertainment venue, was adapted into housing for students in isolation. The Cave is a relatively small venue, with limited ability to give students privacy and personal space. Sigrid Edstrom ’24 was willing to share her experience. 

Victoria: How would you describe your experience in the Cave overall? 

Sigrid: My experience in the Cave was unique. Because I was so turned off by sleeping there, I ended up just staying with close friends who were also COVID-positive in the Fairfield Inn, which was not my official housing assignment. This was an option for me because the day I tested positive, my boyfriend tested negative. He was conveniently paired in a room with one of my close friends, so I ended up just sleeping in the vacant bed in that double. Eventually, by the fourth day of my isolation period, my official housing isolation assignment was moved to a single with a king bed in the Fairfield. That was really nice. 

Victoria: In regards to exams and final assignments, did you feel that you were given adequate room and quiet to prepare?

Sigrid: Based on the conditions I saw in the Cave, if I had spent the majority of my exam time there, I would have really struggled to complete my assignments. Even writing my finals from a hotel room was weird enough; I can’t imagine doing it in a concert space. 

Victoria: How did you react to being told you were going to isolate in the Cave?

Sigrid: I reacted by immediately trying anything to not sleep there. On the phone, I tried to not sound freaked out, mostly just because I didn’t want to be rude to Kari (Quarantine/ Isolation coordinator) because I knew she had a lot on her plate at the moment. Once I hung up, I was pretty emotional and upset about the situation. 

Victoria: How many other people do you think were in the Cave with you?

Sigrid: I don’t know how many people ended up staying in the Cave, but I do know that it was supposed to be all girls. At least that’s what Kari told me. 

Victoria: Were you given enough privacy and personal space? 

Sigrid: From what I saw when I went into the Cave, the beds were placed very close together. I imagine it would have been hard to get any privacy. 

Victoria: Were online classes difficult (especially if you had limited personal space)?

Sigrid: Online classes are always difficult, regardless of being COVID-positive or not. 

The college’s COVID-19 Core Team was unable to be reached for comment at this time. 

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