Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry teared up Friday as she reflected on the darkest days of the pandemic.
Three years after the outbreak of the pandemic, Henry was asked by reporters Friday if she had any regrets about how she managed the virus through restrictions.
She did not share any and instead explained they “tried to keep as much open as possible as safely as possible.”
Henry noted that B.C. kept schools open while many other jurisdictions closed them.
“The time period though that was the most difficult for me, for all of us in terms of decision making, was really the Delta period,” she said, referring to the late summer and fall of 2021.
Vaccines had started to roll out that spring and summer for older residents and there was hope that there would soon be a return to normal.
“But when Delta came, it was hitting young people, they were in emergency departments — these were people who were not yet vaccinated very often. It was a very severe disease for many people.”
Medical evacuations from northern B.C. to larger centres in the south for patients with COVID-19 around that period was “hardest, hardest time and we were all tired.”
“When you are in the middle of hard, everything feels like failure,” she added.
“I lift my hands up to the communities who supported each other,” Henry said, before choking up and pausing to compose herself. “This has been such a challenging time for everybody.”
“There's so many stories that we have lived through together in the last three years. And I think all of us have been changed by it and affected by it.”