Europe, Spain


A week and a half ago, I was supposed to start at my new school, a secondary school (IES) about 40 minutes outside of Pontevedra. On Sunday, we learned that my two roommates had potentially been exposed to COVID and would be waiting at home until they could get further direction. Not having even stepped foot in this school yet, the principal and I decided upon an abundance of caution and to delay my start date until we got more information. At this point, I was considered a contact of a potential contact and had no need to quarantine yet. With not much to do outside of the house anyway, I stayed home and my roommates kept to themselves in their respective rooms.

I still was able to leave and do grocery shopping for us and go for walks. Neither had symptoms, and by the end of the week, we started to wonder if there really wasn’t anything to worry about. I was told to continue to go about daily life and that my roommates would be soon behind me.

I got caught up on classwork for my online courses, picked up two new weekly tutoring sessions, sent some gifts home to my family, and worked on some crafts.

Then, Saturday night, we got the big news: both of them were COVID positive. Now, their exposure was almost a full two weeks prior, so at this point, we were far less worried about them being contagious. But, now I was officially under quarantine and would have to delay my starting at the school another two weeks.

I started getting calls from the health department at the Xunta (what would be comparable to the CDC in the US). Between contact tracers, check-in calls, testing coordination, and quarantining instructions, my phone was ringing nonstop. I had a test scheduled by Tuesday night, and it came back negative the next morning. I was in a pretty cranky mood as it was pouring rain, and I had dealt with over 25 calls in just a few days pretty much telling me the same thing over and over. I had also been told my test was cancelled and then called 20 minutes beforehand to learn it was still on.

Now, I wait in quarantine until February 17th. I will have to get another test on the 15th or 16th, and as long as it is negative, we can all resume our normal lives.

February 15-17th is a partial school holiday week for the “Carnival Holidays” celebrated in Spain, so that week I won’t really be missing out on classes as I wouldn’t have been there anyway. So, if all goes according to plan, it will be two full weeks missed. I was able to have a videochat with one of the classes and send an introduction video. I’m excited to get started there and see what the high school is like, and I know they’re excited too.

Fingers crossed for another negative test.

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