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The Mountain Home: The Ups and Downs of The Pandemic

Kayla Cooper

Mount St. Mary's University Bradley View

Throughout this past year, due to the pandemic, the world has seen community engagement evolve and shift before our eyes faster than we might even realize. The way we engage with our community at the Mount is no exception, and this past week has led me to reflect on that.

Far view of the Mount's campusJust last week alone, the Mount experienced a mountain range of ups and downs, particularly regarding COVID’s impact on how we interact as a community. We went from having around 10 cases to a spike of 50 total cases in under a week, we had a successful hybrid SPARC festival, and Brute Hall in Terrace underwent a shelter in place order. Even for “COVID times” that’s a lot to unpack and process.

Last week, much like the rest of our Mount community, I felt the highs and lows of COVID’s impact. Living in Terrace, although comprised of multiple separate residence halls, often feels like one big interconnected dorm. In some ways it is, given how closely connected the halls are, particularly between Dubois and Brute. sunset view of Peace Plaza

So, much like the highs and lows of a mountain range, I’ve decided to give myself full permission to experience each part of this metaphorical hike, including the low points. Right now, even with vaccines becoming more accessible and hybrid events being held safely, I still deeply miss my community. I recognize that even with this breathtaking view of a safer future, I still feel isolated, and that is also okay. Mountains have steeps and inclines, and I am at a steeper part of it, but that doesn’t mean I’m at the base of the mountain. We still have a ways to go before we make it to the top of the mountain, or that is until we begin to navigate a safer in-person world, but we will get there in time. If there’s one thing we can count on, at least the Mountain won’t suddenly move from under our feet!

As always, thank you for reading. Be sure to check out this week’s content from the other My View of MSMU bloggers!

Kayla Cooper