Starting July 3, the governments of the Atlantic Provinces will relax interprovincial travel restrictions, allowing people to travel within the province without self-isolating. The announcement comes as Nova Scotia records its 15th day without a confirmed new case of COVID-19.

“This will allow families to travel and vacation this summer, boosting our tourism and business sectors,” says Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “Follow public health measures… COVID-19 remains a risk and we must do all we can to prevent this virus from getting a stronger foothold in our region.” See more details in The Reporter.

Adam Barnett

Nova Scotia by bike
Cycle shops are reporting their busiest season in memory, as Nova Scotians emerge from lockdown and hop on to two wheels to explore their province. If you’re new to (or rediscovering) the sport, you’ll find helpful locally focused advice in the recent Adam Barnett book Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia. “I’m a person who loves gathering up data and organizing it and mapping it out,” he says. “So, it was an opportunity for me to pursue my geekiness.”

As anyone who has cycled in this province knows, it’s not a perfect experience. Bike lanes are sparse and many drivers ignore the rules, endangering cyclists and other road users. Barnett doesn’t gloss over the realities. “This is who we are,” he says. “We’re not perfect, we’re flawed, but we’re also beautiful. We just need to embrace what we have.” He talks with Pat Lee about the book and his favourite cycling routes in this Halifax Magazine story, originally published August 2019.

Rural banks in danger
Many rural communities in Nova Scotia have lost their local banks and many that remain are in jeopardy. In Guysborough, municipal officials are worried about their local RBC. It closed when the pandemic lockdown began and has since only reopened two days per week.

“If you want to instil panic and dissension in a population, close the banks,” says municipal warden Vernon Pitts. “That is the wrong signal to be sending.” Drake Lowthers covers the story for The Reporter.

It’s fun to stay at the YMCA
Like many fitness facilities, YMCA is finding new ways to operate and follow public-health rules as it reopens. At the Pictou County location, that means carefully segmenting the space in the fitness room, to ensure at least two metres clearance between users. “They’re going to have a nice space to themselves,” says manager Lori Morrison.

Even though she’s keen to be busy again, Morrison adds that the reopening is happening in phases. “We’re trying to make sure we’re following all of the parameters and that we can still offer something that’s tangible and meaningful,” she says. “We wanted to start out slow and build from there.” Jackie Jardine reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Carrying a heavy load
If you’re not familiar with the disease, you probably don’t think rheumatoid arthritis is a concern for people in their 30s. It wasn’t on Derek Stewart’s mind, when he awoke with a pain in his arm that steadily spread and worsened. “It was… an effort just to make the body move,” he recalls. “To go from the bedroom downstairs to the living room, by the time I got there I was exhausted. My wife used to help me put on my socks. It wasn’t getting any better, so I started taking handfuls of Tylenol all day just to move.”

His doctor eventually diagnosed him; Stewart had to learn to live with chronic pain and a host of other related issues. “We had two kids at that time,” he says. “Both my wife and I were working. I couldn’t afford to sit in bed. Some days you just feel so horrible physically, and in your head, but you have to convince yourself to do stuff when the kids want to play.” In this Saltscapes story by Darcy Rhyno, he shares his painful journey.

Need to know
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