In an Age of COVID Villains, an Unlikely Hero has Emerged: Dr. Bonnie Henry – Opinion

Calum Marsh | National Post 

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS PROVIDED THE WORLD AN ABUNDANCE OF VILLAINS. Extravagant displays of incompetence, duplicity and blundering have made enemies of even the highest-profile health experts, figureheads and politicians, as the anxious and vulnerable endeavouring to navigate this crisis find some relief in blaming the leaders across the world stage.

BUT ONE INDIVIDUAL IN CANADA HAS EMERGED THROUGH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AS AN UNLIKELY SUPER-STAR: DR. BONNIE HENRY 

British Columbia’s top public health officer is not an obvious candidate for the sort of nationwide hero-worship that has materialized around her.   

She is soft-spoken, even-tempered, lacking the emotional vigour that marks the oratory of most wartime leaders. In her daily addresses to the province, she is clear and concise, offering guidance with cool, unflagging reserve. But it is this calm, sensible, authoritative leadership that has prevailed upon the popular imagination in Canada — and elsewhere.

In a New York Times profile of Dr. Henry earlier this month, it praised her as “one of the most effective public health officials in the world,” serving as an inspiration and model “for nations struggling to emerge from lockdown.” 

 Speaking to the people of British Columbia on March 17th, at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the province and as the country at large went into damage-control mode, Henry tendered an exhortation that would become her trademark phrase: “This is our time to be kind, to be calm, and to be safe,” she said soberly. 

 You will find “Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe” on coffee mugs and coasters, on tank tops and t-shirts. A Vancouver jeweller has created a Henry-themed necklace called the “Bonnie Bee”. Various clothiers are producing plaques and commemorative towels. John Fluevog made a limited-edition Dr. Henry shoe, which has her mantra stamped into the footstock; the proceeds from these and other sales are going to charity, in keeping with the spirit of philanthropy and civic responsibility.

Henry’s celebrity has already gone beyond simple merchandising. The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, an aquarium on Vancouver Island, named an octopus after Henry, in recognition of her “incredible grace, kindness, intelligence, compassion, dedication, and calm demeanor,” qualities, we assume, are evident in the budding mollusc as well.

And this week, it was announced that Henry is working with the ONE World Campaign to fight “COVID-19 misinformation” with the actress Olivia Munn, a collaboration they are describing as “a superhero team-up” between Marvel’s Psylocke and Dr. Henry of “the B.C. Universe.” The unofficial Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club on Twitter, has more than 1,500 followers. 

With heroic humility, Henry has been reluctant to accept her newfound fame and adulation. Of the Henry-branded merchandise and the emergence of “Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe” as a marketable slogan, she’s insisted that “it’s kind of a little disconcerting.” (Although she notes that she is “pleased the money is going to something important.”) One of the most admirable things about Henry is that, throughout her ascent to the stratosphere of admiration, she has remained averse to the dawning renown, preferring to keep the focus on the message.

She’s fine with fame — to the extent that it provides her a platform from which to advise Canadians and restrict the spread of COVID-19. This unwavering integrity is the secret to Henry’s prestige. How heroic is that? 

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, facts have been hard to come by; official recommendations have wavered and changed, seemingly on a whim. Henry has been embraced because she exudes the opposite: TRUSTWORTHINESS. She sounds like she knows what she’s talking about. And at a time when trust has never been harder to come by, that makes a hero.  

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  • guyaneseonline  On July 14, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Subject: BC’s Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Notes To All of Us

    This is from the MD in charge of British Columbia provincial task force for COVID 19. She has experience with multiple viral situations. The situation in the province of British Columbia and Canada in general is far better than US.

    1. We may have to live with C19 for months or years. Let’s not deny it or panic. Let’s not make our lives useless. Let’s learn to live with this fact.

    2. You can’t destroy C19 viruses that have penetrated cell walls, by drinking gallons of hot water — you’ll just go to the bathroom more often.

    3. Washing hands and maintaining a two-metre physical distance is the best method for your protection.

    4. If you don’t have a C19 patient at home, there’s no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.

    5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection. If you wash your hands, live your life as usual.

    6. C19 is not a food infection. It is associated with drops of infection like the flu. There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by food.

    7. You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. This is only a non-specific symptom of C19.

    8. Once at home, you don’t need to change your clothes urgently and go shower! Purity is a virtue, paranoia is not!

    9. The C19 virus doesn’t hang in the air for long. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.

    10. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens and through parks (just keeping your physical protection distance).

    11. It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacteria.

    12. You don’t have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.

    13. The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I’ve been working against viruses for 20 years — drop infections don’t spread like that!

    14. You can’t be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity not a cure.

    15. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.

    16. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly. Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immune boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach. Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.

    Be smart and stay informed!

    Live life sensibly and to the fullest.—

    Be Kind

    Be Calm

    and Be Safe

    Dr Bonnie Henry

  • Clyde Duncan  On July 21, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    * This virus is not a living organism. It is a protein molecule (RNA or DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular (eyes), nasal (nose) or buccal mucosa (mouth), changes their genetic code (mutates) and converts into aggressor and multiplier cells.

    * Since the virus is not a living organism, but is a protein molecule, it cannot be killed. 

    It has to decay on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

    * The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat, and that is the reason why soap or detergent is the best weapon. The foam CUTS THE FAT (that is why you have to scrub for 20 seconds or more, to create lots of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down.

    * HEAT melts fat; this is why it is necessary to use water above 77 degrees for hand washing, laundry and cleaning surfaces. In addition, hot water makes more foam, making it more effective.

    * Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ALL FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

    * Any solution with 1-part bleach and 5-parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaking it down from the inside.

    * Oxygenated water increases the effectiveness of soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein. However, because you have to use it in its pure form, it can damage your skin. 

    * NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC WILL WORK because the virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.

    * The virus molecules remain very stable at colder temperatures, including air conditioning in houses and cars. They also need moisture and darkness to stay stable. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade the virus faster.

    * UV LIGHT on any object that may contain the virus breaks down the protein. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.

    * The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.

    * Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

    * NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is only 40% alcohol, and you need a minimum of 65%.

    * LISTERINE is 65% alcohol.

    * The more confined the space, the higher the concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.

    * You have to wash your hands before and after touching any commonly used surfaces such as: mucosa (mouth area), food, locks, knobs, switches, remotes, cell phones, watches, computers, desks etc… and don’t forget when you use the bathroom.

    * You have to MOISTURIZE YOUR HANDS due to frequent washing. Dry hands have cracks and the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.

    * Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.

  • Clyde Duncan  On July 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Part of a transcript from Dr. Tony Fauci ….

    • Young people are driving the latest surge of cases. They are making a big mistake by thinking it doesn’t matter if they get infected, even though many of them won’t get very sick. But allowing themselves to get infected means they are propagating the pandemic.

    • The anti-science trend mixes with an anti-authority trend, and scientists are often equated with authority. Young people may have been disappointed with government, which unfortunately adds to the anti-science sentiment.

    “CHICKENPOX IS A VIRUS. Lots of people have had it, and probably don’t think about it much once the initial illness has passed. But it stays in your body and lives there forever, and maybe when you’re older, you have debilitatingly painful outbreaks of shingles. You don’t just get over this virus in a few weeks, never to have another health effect. We know this because it’s been around for years, and has been studied medically for years.

    HERPES IS ALSO A VIRUS. And once someone has it, it stays in your body and lives there forever, and anytime they get a little run down or stressed-out they’re going to have an outbreak. Maybe every time you have a big event coming up (school pictures, job interview, big date) you’re going to get a cold sore. For the rest of your life. You don’t just get over it in a few weeks. We know this because it’s been around for years, and been studied medically for years.

    HIV IS A VIRUS. It attacks the immune system and makes the carrier far more vulnerable to other illnesses. It has a list of symptoms and negative health impacts that goes on and on. It was decades before viable treatments were developed that allowed people to live with a reasonable quality of life. Once you have it, it lives in your body forever and there is no cure. Over time, that takes a toll on the body, putting people living with HIV at greater risk for health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bone disease, liver disease, cognitive disorders, and some types of cancer. We know this because it has been around for years, and had been studied medically for years.

    NOW WITH COVID-19, WE HAVE A NOVEL VIRUS THAT SPREADS RAPIDLY AND EASILY. The full spectrum of symptoms and health effects is only just beginning to be cataloged, much less understood. So far the symptoms may include:

    Fever Fatigue Coughing Pneumonia Chills/Trembling Acute respiratory distress Lung damage (potentially permanent) Loss of taste (a neurological symptom) Sore throat Headaches Difficulty breathing Mental confusion Diarrhea Nausea or vomiting Loss of appetite Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19 (even in the relatively young) Swollen eyes Blood clots Seizures Liver damage Kidney damage Rash COVID toes (weird, right?) People testing positive for COVID-19 have been documented to be sick even after 60 days.

    Many people are sick for weeks, get better, and then experience a rapid and sudden flare up and get sick all over again. A man in Seattle was hospitalized for 62 days, and while well enough to be released, still has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

    For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity:

    How dare you? How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly. How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as “getting it over with”, when literally no one knows who will be the lucky “mild symptoms” case, and who may fall ill and die.

    Because while we know that some people are more susceptible to suffering a more serious case, we also know that 20 and 30-year-olds have died, marathon runners and fitness nuts have died, children and infants have died.

    How dare you behave as though you know more than medical experts? When those same experts acknowledge that there is so much we don’t yet know, but with what we DO know, are smart enough to be scared of how easily this is spread, and recommend baseline precautions such as:

    Frequent hand-washing Physical distancing Reduced social/public contact or interaction Mask wearing Covering your cough or sneeze Avoiding touching your face Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces.

    The more things we can all do to mitigate our risk of exposure, the better off we all are, in my opinion. Not only does it flatten the curve and allow health care providers to maintain levels of service that aren’t immediately and catastrophically overwhelmed; it also reduces unnecessary suffering and deaths, and buys time for the scientific community to study the virus in order to come to a more full understanding of the breadth of its impacts in both the short and long term.

    I reject the notion that it’s “JUST A VIRUS” and we’ll all get it eventually. What a careless, lazy, heartless stance.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On July 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    I was just discussing the present conditions – as opposed to past episodes of the Flu, for example – and pointed out to my Buddy that we never considered all of these precautions and most of us – at one time or another – came down with the debilitating effects, such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, difficulty breathing – until we finally recovered ….

    Even to this day, people die of influenza.

    This Buddy of mine in Maryland, USA said that his daughter’s friend who they invited to their home for dinner, took off for Florida to visit her mother at a back yard Bar-BQ and they all came down with COVID-19 ….

    I had to ask: Why would any sane, sensible human being pack up and pay for transport to the epicentre of a pandemic in the USA?

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