Trials and tribulations: Students reveal all about self-isolation


By Zoe Glascow, First Year Politics and International Relations

If you or someone in your flat has just tested positive for COVID-19, what may seem a tumultuous journey of 14 days locked in your flat lies ahead- or so you think. Hopefully these anonymous conversational student stories give you a little hope to make Boris’ solitary confinement a little more bearable.

I please urge you to not try any of this at home, and do not consult this article when the university withholds your flat’s deposit.

  1. The Food Fight

Especially effective if in a large flat, the isolation food boxes may come in handy after all. Now we are all starting to see the benefits of Boris’ Churchill complex with his war-style rationing:

‘The tables were set out in the kitchen, trench-style: one either side, no man’s land in the middle… my top tips: the Chicken Tikka sauce is spicy so can take out your opponents… it’s not lethal if you hit them in the eyes*, it just stings a bit. Not for the faint-hearted I guess… don’t try this at home.

‘If you have any paper plates they’re good too- the tinned Heinz Macaroni Cheese works a treat to take out half the opposing team. Only things I would save are the Oreos…’

2. Chair Wars

It took me a while to get this student to open up: what with everyone already holding back their rent and having mild anxiety attacks over the university possibly charging extra it seems some isolation stories are yet to come out of the woodwork. Anyway, let’s call this student ‘Tarquin’…

Tarquin**: ‘You’re not going to tell the university about this are you? Are you undercover? We’ve already had so much security here… when you’re drunk they’re almost as good as Andrew Niel at tying you in knots… anyway, if you get some of those swirly desk chairs and push one another down the corridors, you can maybe throw some of the ‘One Meal’ packs as well…’

Interviewer: ‘What are those?’

Tarquin: ‘Well they’re these weird little ready meals that look like they’ve already been in the boxes for about a month… nothing like Sunday lunch that Mummy makes at home… but yah you can throw those at each other and I’ve heard some people if they have wooden floors cover it with washing-up liquid and slide down it…’

Some students who have been asked to self-isolate spell out 'SOS' in their windows | Epigram / Georgiana Scott

3. The Troublesome Flatmate

I spoke to one student who’s having a little flatmate trouble… but don’t worry, they’ve found some easy ways around it. Not really, they’re still finding the flat unbearable, but they said they hoped you could have a giggle at their misfortunes:

‘There’s always one. You’ve got to respect their nobility, in a way, but we can’t all be like them. Up and dressed at 7am, spends the afternoon making a three-course meal to put in the freezer and heat up ready for a socially-distanced date with badminton society later... They insist on wearing a mask in the flat kitchen, in the shower and even when we’re asleep!… I haven’t figured out how to drink through the mask yet at dinner…’

Words from the Bristol Freshers plunged into lockdown
Around the world with how universities are adapting to COVID-19

I hope these tales find you well, and if you’re in isolation, please remember to all keep one another company, check in on each other and have some group meals and movie nights! These are all satirical stories and they are largely fictional: please enjoy isolation with your flatmates safely!

** Not actually Tarquin

Featured Image: Epigram / Molly Pipe

What has your experience been with self-isolation?