Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, during the March 23 update on the coronavirus pandemic at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government photo)

EDITORIAL: The tough task of finding balance in a crisis

With the guiding words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. is getting it right

Politics is about conflict and compromise, but such politics amid a public health emergency can be treacherous.

Luckily, we are seeing very little conflict by way of overtly harsh criticism from federal or provincial opposition parties. There are some admonitions that orders or fiscal packages have gone too far or been too rich, and conversely suggestions they haven’t gone far enough or helped enough people.

As we write the first draft of history, no one can get it perfect but there seems to be recognition of that all around in unprecedented times.

What we are also seeing is that elected officials are literally stepping aside from podiums so that respected, science-based public health officials can take the microphone.

• READ MORE: All your local, regional and national COVID-19 coverage in one place

We have seen with Dr. Bonnie Henry here in B.C. a need to find balance between fear and complacency, action versus inaction, and personal liberty with public health.

Are we getting it right? Moves made in this province (coupled with some luck) seem to have helped flatten the curve, as the Cartesian vernacular goes these days.

In correspondence with The Progress, and on social media, we’ve seen harsh criticism of people ignoring physical distancing in grocery stores and in public spaces. There are those who admonish others to “just stay home,” yet there is a mental health need for many, maybe all, to get outside whenever possible. Why can’t we camp/golf/kayak or whatever else we enjoy that is a leisure activity at distance to others outside our households?

There is much debate on these matters, but while some scream that we should all stay inside while others clamour for more freedom of movement, Dr. Henry has been steadfast and calm throughout.

“I think it’s important for us to get out,” she said at an April 11 briefing. “To be with our households and experience the fresh air.”

When outside, respect others, steer clear and follow public health guidelines.

“I know that most people are doing the right thing,” she said recently.

Agreed. And so far B.C. is finding the balance and we are getting it right.

Black Press Media


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