Does quarantine affect the relationship of roommates?

Surviving quarantine with roommates means balancing your needs and wants with theirs. For some, this is easier said than done, as it can often require negotiation of new house rules and a high level of self-awareness. Now, more than ever, there is no doubt that being in quarantine can impact relationships between roommates.

Sophomore communication major Taylor Keichner said that quarantine has made the relationship between her and her roommates “stronger than ever.”

“I feel like I’ve seen many of my friend’s relationships with their roommates deteriorate,” said sophomore criminal justice major, Annie Accquavita, one of Keichner’s roommates, “but being quarantined so many times really put things into perspective for our house.”

Keichner and Accquavita live in an off-campus, two-story house with three other people. On three separate occasions, they had to undergo a 14-day quarantine after one of them was exposed to COVID-19. Although everyone in the house has been exposed, not everyone has contracted the virus.

“When some of us got sick, it left us no choice but to come together and work as a team so we could get basic necessities,” said Accquavita. “It also taught us the value of sharing and reminded us to be a little more selfless.”

A study conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found an overall positive change in relationships throughout quarantine, as younger people were more likely to report a relationship enhancement with friends and the local community.

Glossman and his roommate, Colin Waldbiling, sophomore national security major, share a bedroom. Waldbiling said they were able to “keep each other busy on the days that seemed the longest.”

“We definitely got under each other’s skin once or twice,” said sophomore criminal justice major, Jordan Glossman. “But at the end of the day, we knew there were much bigger problems in the world happening.”

For many students, like Glossman and Waldbiling, being quarantined with roommates is almost routine. While it may improve the relationships of those who live together, it also has an effect on outside relationships.

A study by the Internal Journal of Social Psychiatry found that COVID-19 has made a negative impact on social relationships and communication within them.

In the subject, Accquavita said, “Although my roommates and I are closer now than ever, I’ve never felt more distant from my family… My family only lives about 30 minutes from campus, but because we’re encouraged to keep social contact and traveling at a minimum, I haven’t seen them since the semester started. However, having limited contact with my family has truly helped me see how heavily I can rely on my friends.”