After another anti-lockdown protest took place in Vancouver over the weekend – this time in front of St. Paul’s Hospital – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix were asked for their take on the situation.
“It’s really challenging, because there’s a lot of stuff out there that has a bit of truthiness to it,” said Henry during a press conference on Tuesday.
She noted that a lot of people send her things “that they think are conspiracies, and there’s a number of people who call themselves physicians in a number of different places and positions – particularly from the US – who have put out information that they believe.”
Henry said that one important aspect of the provincial health response “is that we do come out here and provide you with the information that we have and as much as we know, and [we] encourage people to go to reputable sources of information such as the Health Canada website, or the BCCDC website, these are sources of truth, and they can go from there to other links.”
There’s “a number of people who have been trying to address some of the misinformation out there,” she continued. “It behooves all of us to take a deep breath… When something comes out that is wildly out there and seems to be that people are looking for an answer that makes sense to them, we see that as well when people are going through the anxiety and the fear … when the outbreak of a new disease takes place.”
As such, she continued, “I would just say the mantra that I say all the time: we need to be calm, take a deep breath and a good look at it, and that will help us find the right way forward through this.
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For his part, Dix said health officials and members of the public owe it to those who have died, become ill, lost loved ones, lost their job, or are struggling in self-isolation “to be respectful of truth, to be straightforward with the evidence – and thats what we’re trying to do here.”
Dix said when it comes to incidents like the one in front of St. Paul’s, he “encourages people not to encourage it … by reacting to steps that are designed to produce a reaction.”
At the end of the day, “there are always going to be people who want to pursue another agenda.”