By Emily Gursky

Once again, Mount Saint Mary College students and faculty are making the switch to fully remote learning until March 1, after 10 positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Feb. 9. For many at the Mount, the sudden pause is alarming and yet another “change-up” thrown their way during this unique school year. 

Jackson Lerner, 18, is a freshman at the Mount who has yet to experience a “normal” college semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pause he is doing his best to stay motivated and maintain a consistent routine, but is aware this is not ideal by any means. 

“It’s definitely harder to concentrate when I’m not in a classroom,” Lerner said. “I feel like my grades could be better if classes were in person.” 

As a nursing major, Lerner also manages a challenging workload. Having to spend most of his day on a computer, he often feels burnt out. “Sometimes I’m just exhausted and physically can’t do work after a certain point.” 

Another aspect of the pause on campus is that the very few activities students can do outside of the classroom are now not available. Before the pause, students were able to sign up for time slots at the Kaplan Gym, giving them a chance to de-stress and stay active. They could also work out with friends they otherwise wouldn’t see, due to the Mount’s COVID-19 restrictions. Additionally, students are not able to physically eat at the View during the pause, which was another place they were initially able to safely spend time with friends. This has left students like Lerner feeling extra bored during the pause. 

“I usually sit around when I finish my work, and without a roommate I get bored pretty easily,” he said. 

Going forward, he is hopeful for a safe end to the pause on campus, but is unsure whether that will actually happen on March 1. He is “a little nervous” about the current situation, and worries students will not be truthful on their daily screener submission or might not follow campus restrictions which may lead to more spreading of COVID-19. 

However uncertain Lerner may be, he knows that he and his peers can only do their best, and plans on doing just that. 

“I’ll try to just keep my grades up and stay positive,” said Lerner. “No matter what.”