The complete, no-nonsense guide to self-isolation for Warwick students
As more and more students are being told isolate, just how will you be supported under the current guidelines?
Self-isolation seems like a pretty daunting prospect, especially when faced with the idea of doing it in some dingy university accommodation. Don’t panic because you think you’re suddenly going to miss out on a lot of stuff – this likely won’t be the case, and there are many ways to be supported during a self-isolation on campus.
This is your advice from the halls guidance from Warwick, primarily for those on-campus, and all the recommendations for supporting your academic and mental health too.
· You can’t go to any public places, use public transport or taxis. You sadly cannot go out to get food, so no late-night trips for some Ben and Jerry’s. You also can’t go for a walk or to do exercise outside of your halls.
· You aren’t allowed to have visitors, including friends and family – this excludes students with disabilities who have university-approved carers coming in to provide essential care.
· The Residential Life Tutor (RLT) living in your block and can help if you need anything during this period. If you look within your flat, on most notice boards in kitchens there will be a contact number for your RLT.
Self-isolating in a uni dorm for 2 weeks has got to be the most boring 2 weeks of my entire life. And I still got 4 more days to go 😢 pic.twitter.com/MrczbmAL3X
— Breezi (@Breezi_EU) October 9, 2020
· If you’re isolating after a positive coronavirus test and you share a bathroom in your halls, you will be transferred temporarily to a different accommodation with an en-suite bathroom.
· If you’re only self-isolating separately from your flatmates but have not tested positive for coronavirus it’s best to set up a rota so you can do your cooking after everyone is finished. You’ll need to clean the kitchen after you’ve used it.
· Ideally, allocate one bathroom in the flat for you to use, and keep up lots of thorough cleaning (toilet seat/sink/handles etc.). If this isn’t possible, you’ll have to thoroughly clean the bathroom every time you use it.
· For laundry, official guidance on Warwick’s support website is that they will “provide an emergency laundry service for you from your second week of isolation. This service is limited to the items you need washing urgently and you will be provided with a single bag per week”. You need to request this through your RLT, and it will be collected for you. So, sadly, you won’t have the joy of visiting Circuit laundry yourself for two weeks.
So you’ve suddenly been told to isolate, you go to the fridge, and lo and behold there is nothing but a pint of milk that’s a week out of date. Don’t panic!
Option 1: Takeaways
If you’re part of the bougie folk over in Bluebell, Sherbourne or those new Cryfield Townhouses, I’m pleased to tell you that you can get your takeaway fix and you won’t have to cook for yourselves.
Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat all deliver to ALL residences on campus. Also, Dominos does some amazing deals and delivers at all sorts of crazy hours, perfect for your late-night cravings.
uni calls to tell me to self isolate bc me flats rona'd up
Uni: Do you have access to food and water
Me: I got a sink and half a pot noodle
Uni: is that all you have
Me : oh and some sprite
— Jack Frost (@0_JackFrost_0) October 8, 2020
Option 2: Supermarket shop
Sadly, not all of us can afford nice takeaways for two weeks. The best thing to do in this scenario is to do an online food shop with one of the major UK supermarkets (if your flatmates are isolating, combine the shop to get the free delivery). The only issue with this is the £40 minimum spend for most major UK supermarkets.
First-year Management student Caly told us that “It was super easy to order groceries online – I combined my shop with my flatmates, and Tesco delivered the food to our block in Sherbourne within a day!”
Be wary that slots can get taken up fast – especially since we are now in Lockdown 2.0. If you can’t get a delivery slot, try another supermarket. Decently priced supermarkets that offer delivery include Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Iceland, to name a few. Waitrose and Ocado also offer delivery…however, they are the pricer options.
Option 3: Click and collect
However, if you don’t need £40 worth of food or are isolating alone, Warwick is offering support. The support site states “you may like to consider the Click+Collect service from the nearby Tesco at Cannon Park. The University Delivery Service will then collect the order on your behalf.”
Complete the university’s Tesco Cannon Park Click+Collect form and someone will be able to collect your food and deliver it to you. You must let the uni know at least 24 hours in advance, and the Delivery Service can only collect between 10 am and 4 pm.
If this fails, and you’re stuck on campus, get in contact with Rootes Grocery Store. They are currently delivering food around campus if you are isolating. Be wary, as they aren’t known for being cheap, and their range is more limited than larger grocery stores. However, if this is your only option, you will at least be able to get enough food.
Warwick’s guidance is to first let your department and tutors know you’re isolating. They state that you should also call the University’s COVID helpline number: 024 7652 3111. This makes sure you have covered all the bases and won’t miss the pesky monitoring points. Other support includes:
· Seminar tutors – They are very accommodating and will make sure you don’t miss out on your work and support. Ask if you can switch on to online seminars for the weeks, you will be in isolation – the majority of modules are offering some form of this.
For example, the History department has said that if you have to self isolate, you will be able to access seminars that are on rotation online for that week. E.g. If your timetable is Week 2 online, Week 3 on campus, for many modules there will be a seminar running Week 3 online.
· Resources – The majority of resources have been made available online, with improvements to the range following the lockdown. This includes reading lists, library books, lectures and extra resources, so it’s accessible for everyone to get the course materials needed.
In terms of communication, email is your best bet to speak to any staff. However, MS Teams has been made the main platform for this year, so if you need to get hold of someone urgently, you will be able to do so there.
A third-year Hispanic Studies student told us, “One of my seminar tutors offered to give me two private one-to-one tutoring sessions over MS teams for the two weeks, to ensure I didn’t miss out on seminars that were not online.”
· Coursemates – Ask people on your course to send you their seminar notes for things you’ve missed if there’s no other option. In all likelihood, it probably won’t come to this.
If in doubt, send an email over to someone important in your department. If they don’t reply – just send a follow-up one in case they missed it. Bear in mind departments are very overloaded with emails, so give them a few days before you nag.
Isolating away from others for up to two weeks is tough. When quarantining, keeping yourself occupied is a great way to pass the time and get a lot of shit done.
· FaceTime, WhatsApp and Zoom are amazing ways of keeping connected with those you can’t be physically close to – be that flatmates, societies and your family back home. Lots of societies are running events through MS Teams too, so look out for what you can get involved in.
· Housemates/friends at uni – If you’re having to isolate separately to them, organising fun things to do with your flatmates over video chat is a great way to feel like you’re not missing out. Alternatively, if isolating together – organise fun things to do and get to know your flatmates even better!
I’m beyond stressed, super overwhelmed with online uni and to top it off we’re having to self isolate for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. I’m losing it
— S i â n (@MissSianH) October 14, 2020
· Routine – Try and keep a good sleep schedule, as although it is easy to stay up until 3 am when you’ve got nothing to wake up for, it gets hard to break the habit. Planning a routine for your time, and trying to follow it as much as possible, can really help to structure your days.
· Keeping active – Yes, exercise isn’t up everyone’s street, but sitting around all day isn’t good. Instead, you could opt for cleaning your room, dancing to music, online workouts and not just sitting down all day.
· Fresh air – It sounds like a silly one, but even keeping the window and curtains open is shown to be stimulating for us when we can’t experience the outdoors as we normally do. Perhaps arrange a comfortable area by a window so you can look out over the beautiful building that is the old Humanities block, or perhaps the lovely sights of…oh wait, more houses.
When it’s not ok:
· Wellbeing Services – They’ve put together some quite nifty resources, which are really good if you’re struggling with things like loneliness. You could also sign up to have one-to-one counselling if you feel that would benefit you. To access their resources, read guidance or to book a session, visit their site.
· Turn off news/social media – These outlets can make our emotions heightened. Especially when isolating, thoughts can build up and make things feel worse than they are. Not keeping up to date with every detail of the pandemic and negative social media outlets, and turning off our phones, can have amazing positive impacts on our mental health. Let’s face it, so much of what we see is relating to coronavirus, and when self-isolating it’s not what you need. It’s ok to switch off and not be on our phones 24/7, especially for these two weeks.
· Talk – If you’re struggling and want to speak to someone outside of the university, with complete confidentiality, there are a range of services providing free support:
Samaritans (24/7) – 116 123
Mind, InfoLine (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm) – 0300 123 3393
Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774
Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) – 0800 58 58 58
self isolating in the house for 2 weeks and thought i’d be productive and spend it doing uni work since it’s never ending but i just did my hair and makeup for no reason wbu
— kirsty ⨟ (@mingyusmiles) October 21, 2020
Self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to feel completely isolated and be totally alone for these 14 days. Prioritise yourself and your own wellbeing above all else – your seminar readings can wait if needs be! Once it’s done, it is the best feeling in the world. Good luck!