Hannah Kuperus—Staff Writer
On November 25, Gideon Brandsma left Dordt with his sister to drive back to Canada, returning home like most Dordt students until the start of next semester. Unlike most Dordt students, however, Brandsma faced a period of quarantine once home.
“Quarantine in British Columbia is a fourteen-day requirement to stay at home while avoiding close contact with family members.” Brandsma said. “Since Dordt chose to finish the semester online, my quarantine will end around the same time as my last exam.”
Brandsma arrived in Canada on November 26, and, aside from confirming he had a place to quarantine, he had no issues crossing the border.
Although Brandsma and his sister may be quarantining at home, home life still remains different than normal as they eat separately from their family and wear masks when leaving their bedrooms.
“We do our best to sanitize items if we’ve touched them, but the whole process is fairly common sense—wash hands, avoid close contact, and monitor symptoms if they arise.” Brandsma said.
In addition to these precautions, Brandsma took another safety measure too after last semester’s momentary shift to online classes turned into finishing out the year in the format.
“I chose to drive home this Christmas to avoid having my vehicle stuck in Iowa if Dordt did choose to start next semester online.” Brandsma said. “[But] Dordt has been fairly confident thus far, and I don’t see that changing, so I’m not too worried about not going back.”
Brandsma was not alone in remembering the spring semester. With memories of last semester’s online learning, many students were disappointed at the prospect of online classes for the last two weeks of the fall semester. However, he provided a different perspective.
“The decision to go online was a difficult choice to make, but it has allowed many Canadian students to avoid quarantining over Christmas.” Brandsma said.
While quarantining for the first fourteen days home may not seem ideal to many, he has maintained a positive attitude and kept everything in perspective.
“I understand that some students believe mandatory quarantine is undermining personal freedom, but if it has the potential to benefit my neighbors, my younger siblings’ school and my parents’ coworkers, it’s hardly a sacrifice.” Brandsma said. “It’s also easy to do when I know my community is doing the same.”