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Thu Jun 11, 2020, 12:50 PM

The Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test

Dr. Bonnie Henry kept the disease in check in British Columbia without harsh enforcement methods. Now, she is leading the way out of lockdown.


That Tuesday in March was the day Bonnie Henry had been preparing for her whole life.

Overnight, 83 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three more had died. The pandemic had officially broken out in British Columbia.

Standing inside the provincial legislature’s press gallery, the preternaturally calm top doctor of Canada’s westernmost province declared a public health emergency. Under her orders and recommendations, schools closed, bars shuttered and social distancing measures were put in place.

“It seemed so surreal,” she said. “I felt like someone was standing on my chest.”

That day, March 17, Dr. Henry ended her presentation with a line that would become her trademark, and a mantra for many Canadians struggling to cope under a lockdown. It has since been hung in windows, painted on streets, printed on T-shirts, stitched on shoes, folded into songs and stamped on bracelets.

“This is our time to be kind,” she said in her slow and low-pitched voice that many call comforting, “to be calm and to be safe.”

More:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/world/canada/bonnie-henry-british-columbia-coronavirus.html

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I can’t say enough about Dr. Henry. She was calm and cool. She never gave into hysterics. She told us to still get outside and exercise. To run, bike, walk. To get out into the fresh air and stay healthy. Avoid crowds, wash our hands, stay 2m away.

It does help that we are pretty sprawled our population. Even in Vancouver many people don’t use public transit. However I feel like her swift response tempered with reason made it work.

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