Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

A student sits alone on Libe Slope, practicing social distancing in light of COVID-19.

March 31, 2020

Livestream Ballet, Physics Research: Inside the Lives of Self-Quarantined Students

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Since the University announced suspension of classes three weeks ago, students have self-quarantined in their homes. From research to investing in the stock market, some students now have more time on their hands to pursue their passions.

Alexander Mule ’20 has been practicing social distancing for two weeks in his off-campus housing in Ithaca, still working on research with Prof. Georg Hoffstaetter, physics.

However, Mule finds it to be tiring to work from home all the time.

“The limited TCAT and Ithaca Carshare service makes it a little harder for me to get around and to the places I like to go, many of which are closed anyway,” Mule said.

Still, Mule recognized how fortunate he is to have company during this period of self-quarantine.

“I’m overall very lucky I have my roommates,” Mule said. “If not, I would, reluctantly, be on the next bus home. The solitude would drive me insane.”

In addition to research, Mule gardens and bakes to fill up his free time.

“A lot of people have it much harder than me,” Mule said. “We should all be extra considerate of each other and try to understand that everyone processes this differently.”

Anabella Maria Galang ’23 is currently on a “very strict 15-day quarantine” after returning home to Florida.

While in quarantine, Galang has been reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, practicing ballet at home by tuning in to live streamed classes and getting ahead of her comparative physiology class.

Galang has been keeping herself intellectually stimulated by creating “her own little world”, filling her time with assignments and getting ahead on her reading.

“The sudden transition from the esoteric ivory tower to the mundanities of domestic life creates a new sort of loneliness,” Galang wrote in an email. “You can’t discuss a fuddling problem set over dinner with your classmates or take a quick walk to an immaculate, silent place to study.”

Kylie Grinwald ’22 is currently at home in Wisconsin and has been in self-quarantine since March 16.

Grinwald has been working on “passion projects” and “side hustles” such as investing in the stock market, working at a local polling place, becoming a brand ambassador for several different companies and doing paid surveys online.

After Grinwald found out that her summer internship with Boston Scientific had been canceled, she began searching for new jobs.

“The company I was going to work for has promised to connect me with an internship search service, but I haven’t heard from them yet,” Grinwald said.

Grinwald has been continuing to do work for e-board and leadership positions within her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, and other on-campus extracurricular activities.

“I’ve had big realizations in terms of mental health while being at home in quarantine. For me, [quarantine] was particularly bad because I’m an only child and my parents only recently shifted to remote work,” Grinwald said. “I think it’s really important to talk about these types of issues as they combine with the other public health and economic concerns that students are facing.”