Unofficial Orientation 2020: Life in the Time of Coronavirus

This is a part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. Find the rest of the posts here.

So, you’re coming back to campus. “Things are going to look a little different this year,” or so you may have heard. Five months ago, in March, physically returning to Wesleyan felt like both an impossibility and the Only Thing to look forward to for the rest of the year. Now, two-thirds of the way through August, it’s become a little more possible. But also, like, a lot more different. As upperclassmen, it is our ethical duty to tell you about every single college experience you’ll ever have before you get to actually have it. But tbh, even we are not fully sure what this fall is gonna look like. Lucky for you, I completed the Moodle course, read the WSA handouts, and skimmed Roth’s letters.

Here’s what we DO know:

Move In & Quarantine:

Students can move in any time between August 24 and 30 and are expected to sign up for move-in times, unless living in a Woodframe. Only one family member can come to help, but they can’t enter your building. Once you come to campus, you’ll get tested for Coronavirus – if you’re from New York, New Jersey, or New England, you need one negative result; all other students must wait to get back two negative tests before finishing their self-quarantine. See this link for more info.

Everyone will be required to self-quarantine for the first two weeks that they are on campus. That basically means staying only within your house/family unit and only leaving to grab meals, to minimize unintentional exposure. Campus facilities will be closed during this period, but it’ll be some great time to really get to ~*know*~ your housemates. What is their most controversial opinion? Their greatest insecurity?? Now is the time to ask. 



You gotta wear em! Get yourself a cute one now. Or just the same one you’ve been wearing since June, assuming you haven’t lost it already. 

The official word on masks is that students must wear them any time they are outside of their room. There are exceptions, like when they’re showering, brushing their teeth, and eating. Masks are also allowed off within your own “family unit,” which is another word for the people you’re living with, in your own home. This feels tricky, especially for freshmen, but worry not! This is the perfect opportunity to completely stop caring about the bottom half of your face and put all of your efforts into maintaining the top half – eyebrow threading and eyelash extensions I’m looking at you. Get working on your smize now for a head start. 



Here’s what I can gather. 

The most basic small-group is your family unit, which refers to the people you share a room or house with. Notably, program houses, dorms, and High Rise in their entirety are not considered family units, only those people who share a room (or High Rise apartment) within them. When you’re within your family unit in your living space, go crazy. Masks off. Lick the table (or maybe don’t.) High-five. The world is your oyster. 

Eventually, if everything goes well (?) cohorts, will be introduced, which are designated groups of family units that can safely interact with each other. The University notes, though, that cohorts are not yet an official thing, cus they really (understandably) want to stress the importance of proper distancing measures. 

As of current regulations, only students living in Woodframe houses or Low Rise apartments are allowed to invite guests over, given that all surfaces are cleaned before and after, the house occupancy does not exceed 30% of the fire occupancy, and the guests are wearing masks/are distanced inside the house. This makes room for a lot more outdoor gatherings, so have your picnic blankets and lawn chairs at the ready. 


Laundry Rooms will function the same way, but there’s now an app to tell which machines are available/ideally minimize crowding. 


Everything is take-out now! Haven’t decided how I feel yet about the loss of the Usdan Catwalk (that space from Pastabilities to the utensils, obviously.)

Usdan, Pi Cafe, Beckham Hall, Cardinal Cafe (new in Freeman Athletic Center!), Summies, and WesShop now all have the option of ordering online and picking up curbside at a scheduled time. Summies is also now open from 11AM-1AM! 



Olin and Sci Li will be open with social-distancing measures in place. Because areas will be sectioned off to keep distance, there will be fewer study spaces available, so it’s recommended that you get used to studying/working in your home (You can tootally write that essay on your bed with your laptop on your chest! Easy! Very! Just do it!?)



As far as we know, CAPS will be offering some form of both virtual and in person therapy. Virtual group therapy will be available as well. Haven’t tried yet, but I highly recommend contacting them soon to secure something more concrete. Something tells me they’ll be busy this semester. 




Well, no. Technically. 

Wesleyan’s official stance on intimate partners has several levels. First, they recommend “physically connecting” with members of your family unit ?. But! If that’s not an option for you – fear not! Wes also recommends getting “creative” with your sex life this semester. That means:

  • Exploring fantasies
  • Masturbate 
  • Sex but nO KISSING masks on
  • “Sexy zoom parties”
  • No orgies pls ;(
  • sexting

Realistically though, Wesleyan knows people are gonna hook up, but they kindly ask that we refrain from doing so until after September 7. Health guidelines also recommend that you have a conversation with your partner beforehand about test results, who you’ve been socializing with, and how to take best precaution. 

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