Due to Yale’s quarantine requirement, all Yalies on campus will be restricted to their campus residences until Feb. 15. As a result, students have had to reimagine their Valentine’s Day plans. Though many are away from their friends, family and significant others during this special time, they have adapted to celebrate the day of love in new ways.
The News spoke to three Yalies in quarantine to discuss their plans for the holiday.
Jay Kauffin ’24, who is currently quarantining in Timothy Dwight College, is celebrating his first Valentine’s Day away from home. Every year, his mom gifts him and his sister small Valentine’s Day baskets, which typically include candy, a card and a trinket. He described them as “nothing extravagant, but enough to convey that she loves us.”
“That kind of sentiment is what I have come to associate [with Valentine’s Day],” Kauffin told the News.
Kauffin said that he sees the day as a time to celebrate his platonic relationships — which is a bit harder because he is quarantined. While Kauffin is close to a few upperclassmen in his residential college, most of his friends are located on Old Campus, which he cannot visit until the day after Valentine’s Day.
Zoë Hopson ’22, another Yalie celebrating the holiday, said that she was initially looking forward to Valentine’s Day, as this year would be different from what she was used to.
“This will actually be my first Valentine’s Day where I’m in a relationship,” Hopson said. “So, I usually don’t do anything special, if anything I hang out with my friends and have a Galentine’s Day. I was actually really excited for this Valentine’s Day, just for the chance to do something, but I don’t know how well that’s going to work with the whole quarantine.”
She and her boyfriend are planning to spend the day together while also supporting the community by ordering brunch from a local New Haven business.
Though she’s currently living off campus, she is still following the city’s quarantine rules, which means that the pair will be ordering in instead of sitting down at restaurants.
“Valentine’s Day isn’t really about going out and doing things, just doing it with the people you love and I’m excited to spend it with my boyfriend, no matter what we do,” Hopson said.
Natasha Ambriz-Villela ’23 is also celebrating their first Valentine’s Day with a significant other, though the two are located in different residential colleges.
“This was the year that I was looking forward to getting to spend it with my girlfriend. And then that wasn’t possible,” they told the News.
Despite the restrictions, Ambriz-Villela is still optimistic about Sunday.
They also noted that the campuswide quarantine will likely stop a lot of celebratory gatherings that would have otherwise taken place.
“I’m sure people would go crazy on Valentine’s Day, so I think the quarantine kind of keeps people in check, to an extent,” Ambriz-Villela said.
Overall, they are looking forward to spending the day with the people they care about, and they recognize all of the other opportunities they have to do so. According to Ambriz-Villela, “being with the people you love doesn’t have to be restricted to this one day.”
On Feb. 15, Yale will start the third phase of its arrival quarantine.
Simisola Fagbemi | firstname.lastname@example.org