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Adjusting to the new normal in the Covid era

It's been a while since things have felt normal. Social distancing, masks to cover our faces, cancellation of community gatherings.

These are all pandemic measures which people are undoubtedly tired of. But in the last few weeks there have been signs that concerns over the spread of Covid-19 have lessened and that business as usual is just around the corner.

Last week Rankin Inlet was able to host the first inter-regional sports competition for youth since the pandemic started. Given that travel within the territory is now allowed, this may not seem like such a big deal. But for those who missed out going to the Arctic Winter Games, the weekend provided a chance for kids to be kids in a familiar competitive environment.

It also gave people in Rankin something to cheer about, even if they were encouraged to watch games from their cars to ensure distancing was maintained.

The community even hosted a drive-in movie on Aug. 8. Of course, it's not be the same as getting together in a large space, but at least it is allowing people to connect in person again.

Businesses are also starting to get back on their feet. Inuujaq Leslie Fredlund, who launched her mobile store Maybe Somewhere just before the pandemic hit, is one of dozens of businesses across the region that have been negatively impacted by the shut down.

As Fredlund told Kivalliq News, it's been tough getting by, especially with children being at home for such an extended period of time with nowhere to go.

However, she can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as can so many others across the Kivalliq.

Perhaps the biggest sign of the return to the status quo is the return of the school year. With no active cases of Covid-19 in the territory, the chief public health officer has finally deemed it safe for children to go back to class.

Things will be different: more safety protocols and social distancing, less close proximity physical education.

It may be inconvenient, but it seems like a small price to pay for children to be able to get back to their education and their friends.

Most importantly, the return to school will give parents a much needed break, after they were forced to watch over their little ones at home for the past few months.

There are those who will say that the safety measures put in place over the last few months went too far or that they were unnecessary.

If the territorial government continues to enforce strict travel restrictions for outsiders coming north to ensure Nunavut remains Covid-free, it might not be long until the trials and tribulations of the pandemic are a thing a of the past.

And we can all get on with the lives we put on hold at the start of 2020.