By Nina Bramante
It’s hard to believe that the freshman class that was sent home almost three years ago will be graduating very soon. Merrimack as a college was lucky enough to survive this uncertain time.
The class of 2023 will be the last class on campus to remember the school and community prior to covid. They are also one of the only classes to see the community come full circle from pre-covid to during covid to getting back to full normalcy.
The Corona virus has impacted every single person on this earth in some way but college students around the world had to quickly up and leave what they know and get forced back home being one of the first to learn online.
At Merrimack College as many may remember the students were on spring break and told to stay home leaving behind all their belongings on campus for months and face a lot of uncertainties.
Merrimack as an institution just like many individuals personally has changed tremendously since pre covid years in both good and bad ways.
Liza Manuele, a senior at Merrimack College who had something to say about the college before and after covid. “I am lucky enough to have been able to see Merrimack College before Covid-19 sent us home. Merrimack has changed a lot for safety measurements but I know it will unfortunately never go back to how it was.”
Manuele was able to reflect on the present and future of Merrimack College as well. “ Covid-19 has brought a great sense of community to campus these past 2 years. I feel that people are much more appreciative of being here.”
Traci Alberti the Associate Dean of Nursing also had something similar to say about how the institution has changed post the pandemic. “I think the college has emerged stronger in terms of the sense of community and commitment and or respect of each other as humans”
Alberti was one of the leaders for Merrimack that created a plan and guidelines for students to return to campus. “I think the leadership team at this institution was incredible in their response by quickly gathering a large team of key leaders across the campus with varying areas of expertise to come together as a taskforce in order to collectively create all of the plans of action.”
“They were strategic, thoughtful and carefully considered the evidence as it evolved; always gathering input from national and state health agencies to ensure our plans were up to date and protecting all members of the campus community to our best ability.” Alberti added about the task force.
When speaking to Alberti she couldn’t avoid speaking on emotion during this time “When I look back on that time from spring 2020 though summer 2021- I feel incredibly humble, proud and grateful to have been given the opportunity to be active in moving forward and through the challenges no-one in our time had faced. I felt as if the whole campus- students, families, faculty, staff, and vendors were my patients.”
Alberti ended with a thought that many of us share and or can relate to. “I am glad that time is behind us and grateful to see life return to a more normalized state of interactions- particularly for the young generations that we serve.
As a student, Manuele is glad things ended up the way they did. “It is great to see so many positive things emerge on campus from such a negative thing. Things we know would not exist if covid never took its course.”
Many students belonging to the Merrimack College community can say that the same goes for them.
Covid-19 is still a scary thing and still affects many as the world continues to fight the virus. Merrimack college still tries their best to keep guidelines in place and keep the campus safe as they also try their best to return to normality.
Students can get a covid test at hammel health if they feel it is needed. Hammel Health asks students to keep in mind the covid symptoms and keep others in mind when sick.
It’s safe to say that Merrimack College stood strong through the rough times the pandemic brought and they had the right people looking over the campus. Merrimack has changed over the years but so has everything else. At least Merrimack can say they changed for the better.