UVM student looks to quell quarantine concerns through TikTok


Image Source: TikTok

Sophomore Sam Joyner posted a video on TikTok for his second day in isolation after going to his sister’s wedding, sharing what food UVM gave him.

It’s almost a normal weekday for Sophomore Sam Joyner, except today he’s sitting alone in a hallway of empty dorm rooms accompanied only by people in hazmat suits, making TikToks to offer a glimpse into his life during isolation.

Although UVM has outlined some procedures online about what UVM’s isolation and quarantine conditions are like, Joyner started making TikToks to give his friends more information about what it actually looks and feels like.

“My biggest fear was that someone would be so worried about isolation that they wouldn’t come here and we would have a spike,” said Joyner. 

As the semester nears its halfway point and common seasonal colds resurface, some students have been apprehensive to report their symptoms to the school, unwilling to spend days alone in a lonely residence hall somewhere unknown on campus.

An anonymous first-year said that despite experiencing cold-like symptoms, she did not report them to UVM because she said they felt similar to other colds she’s experienced and that she felt at minimal risk for COVID-19 because of the precautions she’s taken.

“I think that no one really wants to go into isolation because then they can’t go to their classes and they can’t, you know, get meals with our friends,” she said.

The Green and Gold Promise that students signed at the beginning of the year requires students to immediately report when they experience symptoms of COVID-19.

According to UVM’s Return to Campus website, students must go into quarantine to “observe their health for the potential development of symptoms.” Students must go into isolation if they are awaiting test results for COVID-like symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

Another anonymous student said as temperatures drop, more students may get COVID-19-like symptoms, but may not report them.

“I feel like so many people are getting cold right now just because of the time of year,” they said. “Like I had a cold last week but I didn’t report my symptoms because it was exactly like how all my colds usually feel.”

Despite apprehension from some students to enter quarantine, Joyner said the 10 days he spent in isolation offered a break from his busy life on campus.

“I just want people to know it’s not a scary NYU situation,” Joyner said, referring to earlier this fall when New York University gave quarantined students unsatisfactory meals, according to an Aug. 22 New York Times article.

The Cynic reached out to UVM Strong to gain more information on quarantine, but they declined to comment. The Cynic also reached out to UVM Spokesperson Enrique Corredera for isolation and quarantine numbers to date, but he has yet to provide that data.

According to UVM’s website, students in quarantine will be checked on regularly by a nurse from Student Health Services, and students that test positive in isolation will get “daily health check-ins to monitor symptoms and care.”

Although off-campus students are supposed to quarantine in their households and eliminate contact with housemates, they can request isolation housing if they don’t think they can manage these requirements.