By Teagan Pompa
On a Wednesday night in September, my roommates and I were relaxing in my bedroom to watch TV and unwind before going to bed. As we were enjoying the night, we all received a text from our house group chat.
I did not check my phone right away until I heard one of my roommates say, “What do we do now?” I reached for my phone and read a text from our other roommates who was at her boyfriend’s house:
“Positive, you have got to be kidding me.”
She had gone home for Labor Day weekend and didn’t feel well when she came back. She went in for a COVID-19 test and tested positive.
Since we are all on the women’s basketball team at BSU, we texted our basketball coaches and trainer, to find out what the next steps were. They couldn’t give us answers right away, but they wanted to ease our nerves. At this point, we did not know if we had to quarantine or not.
Our conversations over the next twenty minutes were “what if” questions if one of us was positive, what we would do, and if we had infected others on our team. The confusion was the hardest part, because it was not something we expected to deal with. After a while, our athletic trainer Facetimed us and laid out what was to come for the next two weeks. We had to self-quarantine and get tested.
After all of us aired out our feelings about our roommate’s positive COVID-19 test, we realized we had two weeks to start getting used to what we were about to do that night anyway, and readied ourselves for quarantine.
My roommate who tested positive said, “My initial reaction of finding out I had tested positive for COVID-19 consisted of upmost surprise in all honesty. Having to put life on pause for two weeks and stick to myself is out of the norm for just about anyone, leaving me with an adjustment to make as one could guess.” She went home to quarantine and is currently doing okay.
As college athletes, we have been wearing masks in public and on-campus during our workouts. It’s tough, but we know it is what we have to do to have a season. It was a matter of time before COVID-19 affected our team, but it was a shock.
COVID-19 has become an inevitable occurrence among college students. However, one positive case can have significant ripple effects among a community.
We were fortunate to have the guidance of our athletic trainers who walked us through the whole process. They recommended the best day for us to get tested, the protocol we should follow throughout our quarantine, and our return to play.
Getting the test was pretty awful. It consisted of a nurse shoving a very long Q-tip all the way up my nose and it is not a great feeling. I scrunched my face the entire time and let out a huge cough after. It is something I hope to never get again.
Two days later, as I waited in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru, I got a text from our athletic trainer that said I tested negative. That was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. Over the next couple of days, the rest of our tests all came back negative. Even though we were all negative, we still had to quarantine, but we were just happy everything came back normal. My other roommates and I continued to figure out things to keep ourselves occupied. One of my roommates decided we should watch all the Harry Potter movies. I have never watched any of them, so I can say I was really missing out. They have quickly become some of my favorite movies and movie characters.
Due to quarantine, we could not do our annual 9/11 memorial workout with our team on the BSU football field. Instead, we did it in our backyard and dressed up to make it as enjoyable as possible. Garage and backyard workouts are what kept us in shape so as not fall behind.
I had brought my dog up to stay with us the week before all this happened, so he got a lot of walks, treats and plenty of pets from all of us. Having him here was great to provide more entertainment for us.
We still focused on our schoolwork and Zoom meetings during quarantine. It was actually nice to have schoolwork to do to keep us busy. If we got frustrated with homework, we would just go for walks or bike rides outside.
Quarantine can be boring, but spending it with close friends makes up for all the lows. Between the workouts, homework and movies, we still find time to talk about other more personal things like brainstorming small details for one of our roommate’s upcoming wedding. Another one also found the positives in quarantine. “There was never a point where I felt nervous or alone. My roommates are good company.”
Having followed the rules and regulations for COVID-19 and still having a positive case close to us was a little surprising, but it was something that was bound to happen. We all wanted to do what was right for our team, for the Bemidji area, and to protect the communities more vulnerable to this virus than us.
We still have some time left stuck in our house, but I think we will survive. In the meantime, I will be eagerly awaiting each night when we get to see Harry Potter take on Voldemort.