For more than two years, Rachel MacFadyen had become used to seeing her classmates wearing masks and hand sanitizer dispensers placed around her school, an atmosphere she says didn't exactly encourage socializing.

As a result of measures put in place to lower transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel says she doesn't have as close a connection with her classmates as she used to.

"I just miss being able to just be with people and not feel like I have to be cautious," the Grade 9 student told CBC News. "I miss feeling more free."

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