Back to School

I posted a few days ago that our quarantine was over and we could bring our son back to school. He had to quarantine because his roommate tested positive for covid, and my son chose to serve his quarantine time at home instead of in a dismal motel room arranged by the university. I wasn’t fully vaccinated yet, so while he was home, I’d had to quarantine too.

As it turned out, getting out of quarantine was a little more involved than he’d been led to believe. He’d been told he would be allowed back on campus if he tested positive last Tuesday or later. In reality, that test also had to be within 48 hours of arriving back to campus.

He was tested here at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. We had planned to bring him back to school late Thursday afternoon. Then we found out about the 48-hour thing. We knew he could not have contracted covid between Tuesday and Thursday, since we hadn’t been out of the house the whole time. But we needed to get him to school by 1:30 Thursday, or we would have to get him tested again (for the third time in a week.)

We couldn’t get him to campus by 1:30 pm, because he had to be in online classes here at home on Thursday. The last one ended at 12:35, and campus is nearly 2.5 hours away, so that was not going to work. At 11:45 am Friday, he was supposed to play violin in a concert on campus, so we couldn’t just schedule another test at home and let him go back on the weekend.

So we scheduled an on-campus rapid-result covid test for him early Friday morning. Then we drove down Thursday after he finished his online classes, checked into a hotel for the night, and took him for his covid test first thing Friday. While he sat in the hotel room afterward, attending a Zoom class, Bob and I went to a coffee shop to pick up some takeout breakfast for us all. By the time we arrived back with the food, the rapid test result had come in negative, as we knew it would.

Once he had the results, his ID card was reactivated so he could get into his dorm building. We unloaded the stuff he’d had to take home for his quarantine period, he changed into his concert clothes, and we dropped him off at the concert hall. We weren’t allowed into the concert, so we ran errands until he was finished, met him back there, and took him back to his dorm to help him unpack and move back in.

We were about to leave, but he begged us to stay to help him with a paper that was due that evening for World Music class. We read the article it was supposed to be based on, explained the parts he was unclear on, and let him bounce ideas off of us for a while. It was an interesting topic, about whether the popularity of World Music in Western countries is a boon to the indigenous cultures it grew out of, or harmful to them. Helping him with schoolwork felt a little like having a high-schooler again. Eventually, we took him to dinner (outdoor dining). Then we filled the car with some stuff from his dorm room that he won’t need again, and then drove home, leaving him there for the final two weeks of school.

I’m glad he was able to go back, but I’m already missing him. It won’t be for long. He has another week of classes, and then final exams.

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