3 years later, Bonnie Henry says B.C. is in no better place to deal with a new pandemic than it is today IG News

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How were you talking about COVID-19 the day it was declared a global pandemic?

If you were Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, it was the same as many others: a mix of concern and caution, but in retrospect, a wildly optimistic mindset on what the future will hold.

“We should all be increasing our social distancing. It’s not forever. It’s for the coming weeks,” Henry said at a March 11, 2020 news conference, where there were seven more cases of the “novel coronavirus”, as that was then said to have been confirmed in B.C.

Two additional cases were confirmed at Lynn Valley Care Center, where a resident died days earlier, but “other than that, things have settled down,” she said, not knowing whether there were 19 more people there. Will die seven weeks.

“We still don’t know what role children play in spreading these viruses… At the moment, I don’t think there is a need to close schools across the province,” she said, noting that all of the province’s The school will be closed after six days.

In an interview with CBC News to mark the anniversary of the pandemic, Henry talked about the ways British Columbia has been successful in dealing with the past three years in his mind.

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But she also accepted the outfits of the last three years.

“It was really my job that day to present the information in a way that people could understand and to make people understand that, yes, this could be very bad, but there were things we could do,” she said. Said, thinking about his thoughts when it started.

“I didn’t think it was going to be so long and so difficult.”

virus causes harm but so take measures against virus

Given how Henry initially talked about the pandemic, there are clear ways that his mindset has remained the same, including an emphasis on personal responsibility and an emphasis on guidelines rather than orders, such as when he traveled that day. Asked about sanctions, then three years ago.

“If you think you’re ready to take those risks of being trapped [a] Quarantine… these are personal decisions that you have to take,” she said.

It is an attitude she continues to hold.

“We know this virus causes harm, but we also know that the measures we have taken to combat the virus cause harm.

“It was trying to walk that tightrope and trying to find a balance between not infringing on people’s rights and their ability to do things that we know were important … and contain the transmission of this virus.” were trying to stop.”

Henry argues that British Columbia straddles this line.

“There are groups, you know, anti-vaccine, anti-mask oppose this-a-conspiracy-disrupting groups out there who are very vocal and can be vitriolic at times,” she said.

“And then there’s a group of people who feel they’re just too weak, that we haven’t done enough, that we should still have mask mandates, that no one should be gathering together, and they Can also be very outspoken.”

what comes next?

Henry believes that “most of us are somewhere in the middle” and “we did the best we could.”

At the same time, she acknowledges the division in opinion that has come over time and how it affected the collective response to the virus.

“I think, for the most part, we came together as a community, especially in the beginning,” she said.

“It got more challenging as it went on, but that’s another story.”

For now, Henry considers B.C. to be “emerging” from the pandemic. Reported hospitalizations and deaths have been trending down for months, but she says they will likely “come and go” for years. The province will continue to have a booster program that many people get twice a year.

“I would like to see a future – maybe that’s the optimist in me – within a few years, we might have a vaccine that we get one or two doses, and that will last us a lifetime.”

What if another pandemic comes? Is B.C. in a better position today than it was three years ago, more able to care for the most vulnerable, more able to weather storms?

The question is posed to Henry.

“Right now, if something new came out … I don’t think we would be in a better place,” she admits.

“We are stretched and tired and fatigued, and our system is stretched and tired and fatigued.”

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