A lot of people are understandably nervous heading into the BC Day long weekend.
After more than three months of flattening the curve, everything seemed to come undone in BC on the Canada Day long weekend, mainly stemming from a series of parties in Kelowna.
Today, in her last public appearance before the long weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed that hiccup, but as she often does, chose to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.
“When we brought this up and voiced our concerns to people in British Columbia, we now know that they listened, and I would like to thank people for that,” she said.
“Thank you for resetting and rejoining our efforts to push our COVID-19 curve down and keep it low and slow in BC so that we can manage this outbreak and continue to open up our society to have those important social connections that we need.”
She specifically took time to thank the younger crowd, admitting that it’s an anxiety-provoking time for them for a variety of reasons.
“Many of the transitions and rituals we have around graduation and starting jobs and university have been really rent asunder this summer,” Dr. Henry explained.
“I know that people, particularly around the Canada Day weekend, really had the need to get together, to have that joy of being together and that is what we need to do for the rest of the summer, but we can do it safely.”
While many things may be different than they were six months ago, Dr. Henry was adamant that we’ve risen to the challenge so far and done an incredible job.
However, that doesn’t stop now, as it’s something that every British Columbian needs to keep putting an effort into, not just this weekend, but for the remainder of the summer.
She discussed the importance of keeping your friends and family on the right track when they start to go astray and to remind them that there’s a way to socialize safely this summer.
"We probably all know somebody who’s bent the rules to make it work for them and that’s not a surprise,” she said with a smile.
“I think until it hits home, we think we are immune to many of the effects of things like this virus.”
As usual, BC’s top doctor didn’t downplay the need for strong social connections while maintaining physical distance.
Once again, she referred to virtual graduation ceremonies and creative ways that people are getting together to celebrate births, weddings and other milestones.
Until a vaccine is available, that needs to continue being the focus, said Dr. Henry, which she added isn’t a difficult task, but takes an effort from everyone.
“We will get through this. This is going to be our COVID summer, an unusual summer, a summer of doing things differently, but we know how to do it and we will do it together,” she finished up.
“Let’s make this long weekend a different one then what we saw in early July. Whether you are 15, 25 or 55, celebrate our incredible province by socializing safely.”
“It’s how we care for our community, for our seniors and elders, for our families and friends and this is how we can continue to be kind and to be calm and to be safe.”