All students returning to UNB from outside of New Brunswick are required to self-isolate for 14 days. For many students, this will mean isolating for the second time. 

Rachel Lauder, a UNB student from Ontario, completed 14-day isolations in both September 2020 and January 2021. For her current isolation, Lauder has developed strategies to remain productive while taking care of her mental health. 

“My strategy for this isolation is to have a consistent schedule. This involves waking up at a consistent time, blocking time for work, and scheduling calls with friends,” she explained. 

Kelsi Lockyer, another UNB student, has taken a similar approach. Lockyer returned home to Newfoundland in December and spent the exam period in isolation. While she thought isolating would help her focus during exams, it proved to be a stressful experience. 

“I did not realize how beneficial it was for me to leave the house after an exam and de-stress before studying again,” said Lockyer. 

Lockyer is returning to New Brunswick from Newfoundland on January 19, and, while she is dreading the isolation, she anticipates it will be easier than in December. 

“We are not into the stressful part of the semester, but school is already busy enough that I have plenty to do,” explained Lockyer, saying that she looks forward to her isolation environment in New Brunswick. “In Newfoundland I was stuck in my parent’s basement with little natural light. In Fredericton, I will be in a bright apartment and able to cook for myself, which is a great way for me to de-stress.” 

Both Lauder and Lockyer registered their travel with the provincial government and with UNB’s COVID-19 response team. The UNB response team is tasked with ensuring students are complying with isolation requirements and assisting them with personal needs during isolation. 

While both Lauder and Lockyer appreciate the effort by UNB, they both have issues with the present system. Lauder does not find the daily calls useful, especially when she already receives daily calls from the provincial government. 

Lockyer thinks a better system could be in place, and that a system which simply offered information to students would be received more positively.

“I needed approval from the province to get into New Brunswick, so the information required by the UNB response team seems redundant. The response team speaks as though I need this plan to be approved,” said Lockyer, “rather than asking invasive questions about my isolation plan, UNB could ask what I need help with during my isolation time.”