Students React to Spending Winter Break in Quarantine

As pandemic continues, student feel consequences over break



Kate Rekas keeps busy over another pandemic dominated break

Winter break. An often long-awaited time for rest and recuperation for the student body. While students and faculty alike look forward to break for months, many Blake students’ winter breaks were interrupted by COVID-19 quarantines. In the last week of school approaching the break, the Upper School sustained a small outbreak of COVID-19 cases, which left students infected, losing half of their winter break to a recommended isolation period of 10 days. 

As the break approached, even fully vaccinated students became infected. The increase of these breakthrough infections coupled with the rise of the Omicron variant (which accounts for many of the breakthrough cases infections) seemed to signal the persistence of the pandemic. This persistence was confirmed in the Blake community as many students welcomed the new year (that marks 2 years of the pandemic) from self-isolation. Audrey Anderson ‘23 was one of these students, she spent New Year’s Eve alone in her room while self-isolating, and said it was, “a little depressing.” 

Most students didn’t experience major illness, the common symptoms were those of a cold, such as a runny nose, a sore throat, as well as mild fever, and major fatigue. Colin Lee ‘24 describes his covid symptoms as similar to that of “a pretty bad cold,” and Anderson felt similar, stating, “I didn’t have that bad of symptoms, I had a sore throat, my nose was runny, and I just had low energy.”

With so much alone time on their hands, students spent time playing video games, watching TV and movies, facetiming friends and family, going outdoors and sleeping off fatigue symptoms. Lee said, “I played a lot of video games. I got kinda bored of that so I would take walks everyday and I would go a little bit longer to see how I felt. The only interaction I really got was playing video games with my friends.” Molly Seidel ‘24 also missed interactions with friends and family and spent her quarantine facetiming others with COVID and binge-watching movies. She says, “I’ve never seen the Harry Potter movies so now I feel like I’m part of the club. There was a lot of facetiming, It was pretty lonely, not very fun, I didn’t enjoy it.”

While it was an unfortunate way to spend winter break, students express gratitude that they were not quarantined during school, as some of their classmates currently are. These students noted that their symptoms of fatigue would have gotten in the way of being able to focus on or complete schoolwork. Seidel says, “If I had to do online school if I felt that way it would have been so hard.” Lee elaborates on the pros and cons of being quarantined over break. He says, “it was good that I got quarantined over break because I didn’t have a lot of school work to do but it also kinda sucked because I had a lot of plans [that I missed out on].” Anderson felt similar saying, “it would be so difficult to do online school. I’m kinda grateful I got [COVID] during break so then I don’t have to go through [online school] and I also have that kind of immunity now.”