Hundreds of students have been asked to self-isolate in their residences following Covid outbreaks at several Scottish universities.
They include 600 at the University of Glasgow and another 500 at Abertay University in Dundee. So what is it like to self-isolate in a student apartment?
‘I’m slowly running out of food’
A student, who is self-isolating due to positive cases in her student home, told the BBC she had to adapt quickly.
She said, “Being asked to isolate yourself in college halls is not the best. It’s not like your own house where you could have a garden and your own bathroom and a separate room for working and sleeping.
“Most of the time is spent in my room. It’s good but it can bring me down a bit. I get out of bed, take two steps to my desk, and that’s what I do most of the day.
“We share our bathrooms – there are five showers for eight of us, which is sufficient, but we have designated two for people who have tested positive, so we have tried to contain the virus in our hearth. “
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She also said that the students needed practical help.
“I’m slowly running out of food. I’ve only been here a week and haven’t done a big grocery store. I use the few things I brought with me. This is another stressor to deal with.
She said students in her accommodation socialized in other rooms before the outbreak and “mingled outside their homes.”
She added that the threat from university accommodation officials that anyone breaking the rules could be evicted was of concern.
She said: “The threats to fire people are pretty harsh. We decided as a group to be more responsible because we knew we had no place to go if we were fired. It might make students think twice. “
“They need PPE to pee”
Concerned mum Amanda d’Argyll is in regular contact with her 18-year-old daughter who lives in a five-person student apartment in Murano Halls in Glasgow, the epicenter of one of the main outbreaks.
She told BBC Radio Scotland Mornings with Kaye Adams: “I believe the architect of the Murano Halls was famous for the design of prisons. And the situation has been difficult and lonely.
“My daughter was the first in her apartment to test positive and there was a bit of social stigma to that.
In her apartment, Amanda’s daughter shares a bathroom and a kitchen with four others, making self-isolation difficult.
Amanda said, “She has to get into PPE to pee. Then she has to disinfect everything – the toilet flush, the taps, the sink, the doorknob before she can return to her small bedroom. It’s the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling bad.
“She cannot access the kitchen at the same time as the others, so she goes there alone to cook in PPE and has to disinfect everything again – the taps, surfaces, the stove, the knives if she has used them.
“She ran out of fresh fruit and vegetables early on and is now on the dried food stock that we sent her to Glasgow with. ”
Amanda also said laundry was a problem because “little” had been done in the first two weeks at college.
Three of the five freshmen in his apartment have tested positive for the virus and the other two are awaiting the results, but they are all self-isolating.
Where are there cases?
The Covid clusters in Glasgow are centered on two university residences, the Murano Street Village and Cairncross residences, with 124 students testing positive to date.
The university said the actual number of infected students was “likely higher” and blamed social activity at the start of the first year’s week, September 12-14.
He said affected students had access to food and other supplies, and advice on medical issues – including mental health and wellness – was also available.
Elsewhere in Scotland, the 500 residents of Parker House in Dundee have been asked to self-isolate until contact tracing is completed after three confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
In Aberdeen, 72 residents of the student village of Hillhead are isolating themselves after students test positive.
Aberdeen University has urged anyone who has attended parties or other gatherings since Friday to come forward to help contact tracing efforts – and promised they would not be punished for violating the guidelines if they did.