The issue: gymnasiums

We say: doors finally open 

Four walls can represent a prison sentence, or it can evoke a sense of euphoria.

For Yellowknifers who have been feeling cooped up in their residences during Covid-19, home maybe hasn’t felt so sweet lately. 

For those itching to get back into sporting activities at local gymnasiums, Ed Lippert delivered some long-awaited and welcome news on Wednesday. 

Yellowknife Education District No. 1 school gyms will reopen to public groups as of Saturday, stated Lippert, superintendent of the school district.  

Sir John Franklin’s reopening formats differ somewhat from the other five schools of Yellowknife Education District No. 1. NNSL file photo

The gyms at Mildred Hall School, Range Lake North School,  N.J. Macpherson School, École William McDonald Middle School and Ecole Sir John Franklin High School will once again be open for physical activity. The four walls in those facilities will be embraced by many restless city dwellers with energy to burn.  

It won’t be business, or leisure, as usual, however. There will be limits to the number of people allowed to participate in gym sports and recreation activities, cleaning the facility between bookings is mandatory and users’ names will be recorded in case contact tracing is necessary. 

The shadow cast by the pandemic is never that far away, it seems.   

The NWT has had 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19, all considered resolved. That’s over a span of several months. We’ve all suffered and sacrificed during that time.

While we cannot let our guard down, keeping healthy by engaging in some sports will be a resumption of normalcy that many of us have been craving, just as it was when we were able to return to restaurants, the movie theatre, arenas, and so on.  

Watching what’s been going on in various provinces, we may have to be prepared to see our gym privileges slip away again as a second wave of the pandemic picks up steam. Some jurisdictions in the south have been opening and closing like an accordion as Covid cases rise and fall.

We’ll be subject to similar constraints if numerous infections start cropping up here.  

In the meantime, the reopening of gymnasiums is still terrific news. A little three-on-three basketball, anyone?

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