The coronavirus pandemic has provided the world with an abundance of bad guys. Extravagant displays of incompetence, duplicity and blunder have made enemies of even the most prestigious health experts, figureheads and politicians, while the anxious and vulnerable who are trying to get through this crisis find relief to blame leaders around the world.
But an individual in Canada emerged through the COVID-19 pandemic as an unlikely super-star. Dr. Bonnie Henry is our hero.
British Columbia’s top public health official is not an obvious candidate for the kind of national hero worship that has materialized around her. She is soft-spoken, of equal character, without the emotional strength that characterizes the oratory of most warlords. In her daily addresses to the province, she is clear and concise, offering advice with a cool and unwavering reserve. But it was this calm, sensitive and authoritative leadership that prevailed over the popular imagination in Canada – and elsewhere.
In a profile of Henry’s New York Times earlier this month, he praised her as “one of the most effective public health authorities in the world,” serving as an inspiration and a model “for struggling nations.” to get out of isolation ”.
Addressing the people of British Columbia on March 17, at the start of the province’s coronavirus epidemic and as the country as a whole went into damage control mode, Henry issued an exhortation that would become her trademark sentence: “It’s 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 jeweler created a Henry-themed necklace called “Bonnie Bee”. Various clothiers produce commemorative plaques and napkins. John Fluevog made a limited edition Dr. Henry shoe, the mantra of which is engraved in the sole; proceeds from these and other sales go to charity, in keeping with the spirit of philanthropy and civic responsibility.
Henry’s fame has already gone beyond simple merchandising. The Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, an aquarium on Vancouver Island, named an octopus after Henry, in recognition of his “incredible grace, kindness, intelligence, compassion, dedication and calm.” budding molluscs too.
And this week, it was announced that Henry was working with the ONE global campaign to combat “COVID-19 misinformation” with actress Olivia Munn, a collaboration they describe as “a team of superheroes” between Psylocke de Marvel and Dr. Henry. from “The Universe of British Columbia”. Dr. Bonnie Henry’s informal Fan Club on Twitter has more than 1,500 followers.
With heroic humility, Henry was reluctant to accept his new fame and adulation. From the Henry branded merchandise and the emergence of “Be calm, be nice, be safe” as a marketable slogan, she insisted that “it’s a little disconcerting”. (Even though she notes that she is “happy that the money is going to something important.”) One of Henry’s most admirable things is that, throughout his ascent to the stratosphere admiration, she remained opposed to the emerging fame, preferring to focus on the message.
It goes well with fame – in that it provides it with a platform from which to advise Canadians and limit the spread of COVID-19. This unshakable integrity is the secret of Henry’s prestige. Is it heroic?
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic facts, have been difficult to find; official recommendations faltered and changed, apparently on a whim. Henry was kissed because she radiates the opposite: reliability. She seems to know what she’s talking about. And at a time when trust has never been so difficult to find, it makes a hero.