There’s always so much excitement in the lead up to the end of Fall Semester. Sure, there’s plenty of stress from completing last minute projects and studying, but the anticipation of the winter holidays has a way of carrying students through to the end. Because of the upcoming Christmas season, my housemates and I decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange on Friday night of Dead Week.
We all settled into the living room and took turns guessing and opening our gifts. Two of the gifts had fragrances: body wash and a lavender heating/cooling stress pad (this will be important later). So, the four of us are chatting it up in our living room when Lauren, the person who got the lavender pad, said, “Ooo it’s scented!” prompting my other housemate, Cassie, to come up and smell it. After sniffing it two or three times, my housemate declared, “I don’t smell anything.” Another important sidenote is that Cassie had been sick the past two weeks, but we’d all said it was “just a cold.” Anywho, Lauren commanded Cassie to go take a covid test. Fifteen minutes later, Cassie looked at her test and her eyes become the size of saucers. In a hushed voice she stated, “It’s positive.”
Having known Cassie since high school, I played it off saying, “Yeah, right,” since we’d all been joking around. Cassie then held up the test to show us that it was indeed positive. Lauren yelled, “Go to your room now!” while Makena and I scrambled around the house looking for masks, other tests, and standard cleaning products, like that scene in Monsters Inc.
After placing Cassie in quarantine, Lauren, Makena, and I went to Campus Safety to get Covid tests. We got home and after testing negative, isolated ourselves all weekend. Come Tuesday night, I was beginning to lose all motivation to complete my last three take home exams. So, I changed my playlist from the Piano Guys to random throwbacks from the early 2000s. The first song that played was Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae.
I turned the volume up all the way and started having an Emergency Dance Party that spread into the hallway. I set my Bluetooth speaker right outside Cassie’s door and Makena and I started dancing and singing at the top of our lungs. Eventually, we moved to the kitchen and Lauren started making pancakes (just because). By the time Winter Break started Thursday afternoon, everyone had completed the last of their finals and Cassie remained the only one of us to have tested positive.