Fredericton entered the Orange phase at midnight on January 5, and has since moved back and forth between high levels of restrictions and is set to continue this for the foreseeable future.
Mick Jefferies, a first-year UNB Law student, will complete his two week isolation this week and enter into the alternative isolation that comes with living alone during Orange.
Jefferies had spent much of December in Newfoundland and Labrador, where he completed two weeks of isolation before seeing his family, and was looking forward to seeing his friends upon returning and completing his isolation in Fredericton.
“I’ve been in isolation since Fredericton moved to Orange, so it has not yet impacted me,” he explained. “I am disappointed, as I was looking forward to visiting friends I have not seen in a month.”
The Orange phase, and Red phase, have caused many to experience heightened levels of loneliness.
“It is difficult to combat loneliness. I find being on social media is more harmful than helpful,” explained Jefferies, offering some ways that he keeps himself occupied. “I do enjoy listening to podcasts, watching movies, and reading books! I find that it helps me feel like I’m around others, and I am tagging along in their journey.”
Jefferies explained that adhering to a routine has helped him to maintain a positive headspace. He has established a regular sleep schedule, and has reduced his screen time where possible. He also credits regular phone and FaceTime calls for helping him feel a sense of connection but explained that this can contribute to higher levels of screen time.
“I also have had to establish a regular sleeping routine. I find that sticking to a regular sleep schedule has put me in a more healthy place,” said Jefferies. “I do find it difficult that I have to do my classes, work, and socialization time online. This results in more screen time than I would like,” he said.
The semester starting up has been a welcome distraction for Jefferies, who explained that he enjoys the routine of regular classes.
“It’s also great to see profs/classmates faces as I live alone. I am very happy to be back in classes,” he said, adding that he may add a new friend to his apartment. “ [Perhaps] I can pick up a fish as a little pal to have around.”