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COMMUNITY REPORT: Baker Lake 'resilient' but long-term impacts of crisis unknown, SAO says

0804bakz.jpg Photo courtesy Uliut Iksiktaaryuk Isabel Tugak, left, and Scarlette Iksiktaaryuk send a thank you out to all the mefdical personnel who work so hard to keep everyone heazalthy in Baker Lake on April 3.

Everything is going as well as could be expected in Baker Lake amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said the community's senior administrative officer this past weekend.

Isabel Tugak, left, and Scarlette Iksiktaaryuk send a thank you out to all the medical personnel who work so hard to keep everyone healthy in Baker Lake on April 3.
photo courtesy Uliut Iksiktaaryuk

Sheldon Dorey said everyone has concerns and worries, but the hamlet is doing everything it can to keep the community up to date with any new information on the coronavirus.

He said the hamlet distributed a number of sanitizing products to local residents when the sickness was first announced.

We've also increased the number of daily water deliveries in the community, as well as the number of sewage pump-outs,” said Dorey.

Everything in town is all closed down, for all intents and purposes, and we're not holding any social or fitness events until further notice – no community gathering events at all.

We're doing what every other hamlet in the Kivalliq is doing, I'd dare say.”

Dorey said the community is not lacking for anything yet, at least as far as he knows.

He said having a food bank in town to distribute food to those in need has been a great help during this health crisis.

NTI has come up with some different products and the Government of Nunavut has just announced a program that will help us in the food department.

The local stores seem like they're doing OK with products coming in and going out, and the HTO has given some caribou to those who need it in the community, so I don't think there's been shortages yet of any kind.

Everyone, for the most part, seem to be really working together to beat this.”

Dorey said a portion of people in the community take the Covid-19 threat really seriously, while some others don't take the whole thing seriously at all, at least not yet.

He said the biggest concerns he hears constantly revolve around Baker's shopping establishments and the social distancing that is, or is not, taking place within them.

I think we're a little too early in the game to know yet what mental impacts all this might have on some people in the community.

People are resilient but when you're living in such close quarters for long periods of time – it will be interesting to see what happens two or three months from now.

The hamlet's recreation department is starting to plan some activities that people can do in their own homes to, hopefully, decrease the stress and tension some people may be feeling.

And, I think, the doctors and nurses across the region deserve a pat on the back for all they're doing in case that virus ever does arrive here, which we all hope will never happen.”