Newsletter: Eternal Light in Glooming Darkness

Bodø Bodøsjøen Solnedgang
The High North is moving towards eternal days, yet darkness looms over the Arctic. Photo: Trine Jonassen, High North News.
Dear reader! We are heading towards brighter days in the High North. Yet darkness looms over the Arctic summer nights. Tourism in the High North is broken down, and unemployment increases amongst uneducated people in the service industry. It is all about Corona, even when it isn’t.

Not to be the one to paint the devil on the wall, because northerners are mostly healthy and able to work. But the consequences of Covid-19 are now showing their ugly face in other ways than through disease. The Corona virus has sentenced tourism in the High North to death unless immediate measures are taken.

Look north

Corona-related unemployment is in on the rise in the High North. And the losers are young, and in particular women.

Cathrine Stavnes, direktør i Nav Nordland. Foto: Nav Nordland.
Cathrine Stavnes, direktør i Nav Nordland. Foto: Nav Nordland. 
Cathrine Stavnes, director of Nav Nordland. Photo: Nav Nordland.

Editor-in-Chief at High North News Arne O. Holm is also feeling the gloom – inside, but also on behalf of our youth. Generation Z. We now place our trust in these young people, the very ones who have lived their short lives in a world where no-one knows that tomorrow may bring.

Prefer isolation

Someone who is absolutely in on the party – a home-alone party, if you will – are the public researchers Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sørby. Following 229 days in a trapper’s cabin from 1930 on Svalbard, the two were scheduled to return to civilization on 8 May, to meet singing, celebrations and long-awaited hugs and embraces from their near and dear ones. But the Corona virus had other plans. Read more about the women’s historic and personal journey here.

Skjermdump av videomøtet med hunden Ettra, Hilde Fålun Strøm og Sunniva Sørby.
Etterlengtet møte: Skjermdump av videomøtet med hunden Ettra, Hilde Fålun Strøm og Sunniva Sørby.
Ettra the dog, Hilde Fålun Strøm og Sunniva Sørby calls home. Photo: Screenshot from the videocall.

Elsewhere in the Arctic, things are starting to move again. Universities brush the dust off their lecture halls and a.o. the University of Greenland has opened up its facilities for on-site teaching. Others follow suit.

The processing duty for fisheries in Norway is re-introduced to the joy of many [Norwegian only], and a survey shows that Finland and Alaska are among the most attractive mining regions in the world.

A new spring

In Norway, the revised state budget was presented this week, which caused both cheers and cries. There was no money for Andøya Space Center.

We are facing a new era and time will show us an image of the world before and after Corona. Or in the words of Norway’s new Chief of Defense, Eirik J. Kristoffersen, who is a northerner himself:

Eirik Johan Kristoffersen og Frank Bakke-Jensen under presentasjonen av ny forsvarssjef
Presenterte den nye forsvarssjefen: Eirik Johan Kristoffersen og Frank Bakke-Jensen under presentasjonen av Kristoffersen som ny forsvarssjef.
Eirik Johan Kristoffersen and Norwegian Defense minister Frank Bakke-Jensen during the presentation of the new Chief of Defense.

We see a more uncertain world and the Defense must continually adapt to face new security policy challenges.”

And with our eyes forwards, looking at a very special version of our Norwegian Constitution Day, upcoming this weekend, in the midst of a spring with almost historic amounts of snow and the bright, beautiful summer nights, we at High North News wish you all the best for the coming week. Do not forget to tell us about what goes on in your Arctic.

Kind regards,
Trine Jonassen
News Editor, High North News

 

This newsletter was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.

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