Monday, September 14, 2020

UW students describe chaos as COVID-19 raged through residence halls, leading to lockdown

From JSOnline:

Devi Shastri
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As she climbed down nine flights of stairs and stepped into the dark night in the pouring rain outside Sellery Hall, Lauren Tamborino described the scene as "apocalyptic."

Students were running to the Walgreens across the street and the nearby Fresh Market, stocking up on food and supplies. They had been told they had just a few hours before they would be isolated in their dorms for two weeks, inciting panic.

"There were people buying gallons of milk, boxes of cereal, tons of food, cases of water, just stocking up for this quarantine," Tamborino said.

Teachers started emailing her to say deadlines on homework assignments were being pushed back. Students were told if they left the dorms after the 10 p.m. lockdown, they would not be allowed back in.

And all of this was unfolding on Wednesday, one week to the day after classes started.

UW-Madison officials sent out information about when meals would be delivered and promised medical care, mental health support and strict enforcement of restrictions on gatherings.

"We know you want to be here and we hope this necessary step will help us achieve the goal of remaining on campus all year," said a message to students in Sellery and Witte halls.

Watching the chaos, Tamborino knew one thing: She did not want to be here.

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