Last week Premier John Horgan released information about British Columbia’s restart plan.
Over the past two months COVID-19 has disrupted every part of our lives. It has devastated social norms, and caused tremendous economic hardship for individuals, families and entrepreneurs.
Public health and safety officials have asked each and every one of us to take incredible steps to limit our social interactions, physically distance ourselves from each other, shut down our businesses and abruptly change long-established habits in order to protect our friends, family and neighbours who are most vulnerable in our communities.
A vast majority of British Columbians have followed the orders and recommendations of our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. We have flattened the curve and limited the transmission rates.
Now our provincial government, and governments around the world, are beginning to restart their economies and ease the restrictions that have been in place. In many respects we are in a more difficult position now than we have been in over the past few months.
People want to get out and about. We want to reconnect. However, we cannot go back to the way it was pre-COVID-19. We are hearing the stories from around the world, jurisdictions that are moving too quickly are seeing their transmission rates go up again.
A further challenge is how little we know about COVID-19. What researchers are learning about this disease is deeply troubling. This virus has many faces and it affects people in a wide range of ways. It’s not just impacting our elders, it is impacting our children and everyone in between.
In short, we have to be patient!
Moving too quickly will be disastrous. Public health and safety officials need to be clear in their messages and deliberate in their approach. Each one of us individuals need to be measured in our re-engagement.
A “gradual restart” is not permission to go back to pre-COVID business-as-usual. The new habits we have learned over the past two months are here to stay – probably for a long time. It’s a tough reality to confront but we need to get used to it.
British Columbia’s restart plan is organized into four phases. We are still in the first phase and in the next few days we will be moving to the second phase.
Please familiarize yourself with the plan. Organize your life accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns about the plan, or how it impacts you, your family or your business, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My team of constituency advocates are working remotely, and available to assist you in navigating the information you need and helping you get answers.
Thank you for everything you have done to contribute to our success so far. We are not out of the woods yet and unfortunately the path remains unclear and full of obstacles. However, we are in this together and by continuing to stick together we can ensure that we get through this very difficult time and that we can support each other as we go.
Much love to you all!