FAIRFIELD COUNTY– “It’s been very lonely over here,” said Emma, a Connecticut resident who is home and on self-quarantine after her spring semester abroad in Italy was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak there. “I haven’t gotten time to spend with my family since I’ve been home. I’ve been allowed to pet my dog once in a while but, it’s pretty lonely,”
Emma goes to school out-of-state. The sophomore and her classmates got back to the United States on Monday and have been instructed to isolate themselves for at least two weeks.
She checks her temperature twice a day. She is healthy and has shown no symptoms of the virus.
“Gloves that [my mom] makes me wear,” Emma said while describing the precautions she’s taking even while on quarantine. “This facemask — I don’t know if it’s going to do anything. Lysol, I have to disinfect everything I touch, all the handles and everything. And then hand sanitizer.”
Emma is lucky; her parents have a guesthouse she can stay in. But her brother has asthma so respiratory viruses are especially dangerous. Emma hasn’t touched anyone except her mom, and even then, only briefly.
“She hugged me once when I got home but other than that I have not touched her or talked to her in person,” said Emma.
“What’s it like not to be able to touch somebody?” asked News 8.
“Very weird,” she said. “I feel like I’m in a movie. It does not feel real.”
News 8 spoke with Emma through a Skype link in our studio, not the standard sit down or visit at her home. It made our staff consider how our jobs could change in the event of an outbreak.
More than anything Emma said her isolation has been mentally taxing. Nevertheless, she’s doing it for the safety of her loved ones, and her neighbors.
“There’s not much to do. I feel like I spend way too much time on my phone on social media, at this point I’m starting to get so bored of it. There’s nothing else I really can do. I’ve been working out a little bit. Just trying to do whatever I can do. I mean it’s only the third day. I still have 11 days to go.”