“Little big” household welcomes end of Nunavut lockdown

In Chesterfield Inlet, Gloria Thompson’s household of 13 ready for eased restrictions

The tiny Kivalliq community of Chesterfield Inlet, home to about 400 residents, has remained free of COVID-19 while nearby Rankin Inlet has seen 19 positive cases. Due to Chesterfield Inlet’s COVID-19 free status, life is set to return nearly to normal there on Wednesday, when public health restrictions ease, offices reopen and children go back to school. (Photo courtesy of Calm Air)

By Jane George

Like many Nunavummiut, Gloria Thompson of Chesterfield Inlet is eager to see the end of the current territorial lockdown on Wednesday.

For the past two weeks, she has been hunkered down in her four-bedroom home with her “little big household.”

A total of 13 people live in her house — five adults and eight children.

But she doesn’t complain about the overcrowding. No one is sleeping in the living room.

And everyone is healthy and has enough food, including country foods, to eat.

Unlike some houses in Chesterfield Inlet, she said hers is also in “fair” condition.

As well, the hamlet delivers water and picks up sewage daily.

“But by the end of the day, the water is almost done,” she said.

Gloria Thompson of Chesterfield Inlet says she has taken seriously all public health advice on how to avoid the new coronavirus. (Photo courtesy of Gloria Thompson)

Thompson said that throughout the pandemic she has taken the public health recommendations seriously, making up for the impossibility of social distancing inside by cleaning the house every day “from corner to corner.”

“I am constantly cleaning the house twice or three times a day. And when everyone goes to bed,” she said.

Thompson said she washes the floor, the doors and all surfaces that could be touched right out to the entrance porch.

To help with cleaning efforts during the pandemic, the hamlet has distributed extra cleaning supplies.

“I am very cautious because I don’t want my house to have the virus, and we are so many here,” she said.

They are all “very aware” of COVID-19 and have masks, she said.

“Even the four-year-old understands. Everybody understands,” she said.

Still, the past 14 days, spent mainly inside, hasn’t been easy. For the first week, the children were excited. They helped put up their Christmas tree. Then, they got bored, and now they are happy to go back to school and day care.

Thompson said she’s also looking forward to getting back to work at the Northern store.

During the pandemic, they have watched all the Government of Nunavut COVID-19 updates.

“Keep up the good work. We’re watching you, Dr. Patterson,” Thompson said, referring to the chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, who speaks during the updates.

Thompson also had a message to the front-line workers: “We’re cheering you on, even if it seems no one is watching.”

John Main, the MLA for Arviat North and Whale Cove, had a positive message of his own for Thompson and other residents of Whale Cove who he said, with the hamlet, have done an “excellent job coming together against COVID and following the restrictions put in place.”

“I am hopeful that, as we head towards Christmas, the case count in Nunavut will continue to decline,” Main said. “But it will depend on continued community efforts to follow all health restrictions and Whale Cove residents to request to be tested if sick.”

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Why on

    A true angel is Gloria as she tries so hard to be positive… in a small community all you can do is be positive. She’s stressed I am sure but she doesn’t show it here. She’s walking on egg shells … a story from so many that are in crowded situations. The mental stress is too much to say more ..

  2. Posted by Nunavut Pride on

    It is because of the individual efforts of people like Gloria that our COVID cases are under control. Qujannamiik, Gloria, for setting such a positive example for your family and community!

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