Premier John Horgan, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement to acknowledge the National Day of Observance for COVID-19:
"Today marks Canada’s National Day of Observance, a time to honour those who have passed away as a result of COVID-19 and to share our deep gratitude for all health-care and other frontline workers who have courageously and compassionately been on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Two years ago, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The rapidly spreading virus has since brought significant challenges for people and communities throughout the world. In B.C., more than 350,000 people have been infected by COVID-19 and more than 2,900 lives have been lost to this deadly virus. We join everyone in the province in observing a moment of silence for those who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many people’s mental health. For many, the past two years will be remembered as some of the most difficult we have ever faced. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on our lives, with social activities, entertainment, gatherings, sports and many other events cancelled or held virtually. Schools and post-secondary institutions went online temporarily, and hundreds of thousands of businesses closed their doors through the worst of the pandemic to help keep staff and customers safe.
"But British Columbians have shown we can overcome anything if we stand together. We remain inspired by and deeply grateful for the leadership and guidance of Dr. Bonnie Henry, who continues to keep us healthy. We share our thanks for the sustained commitment and perseverance of the people in the province who followed public health guidance and restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“In the months that followed the arrival of COVID-19, thousands of us stood outside our homes and on our balconies banging pots and pans as a way of expressing our thanks and appreciation to our health-care heroes and other frontline workers. We continue to carry a debt of gratitude to our frontline workers, be they nurses, grocery store workers, teachers and support staff, public transport workers or first responders. Their sacrifices have carried us through this pandemic.
“We also extend our gratitude to the media for their tireless work through this pandemic to keep British Columbians informed and updated in an ever-changing time.
"It’s important to note that getting vaccinated remains one of our best tools in the fight against COVID-19. We have ensured every British Columbian has access to vaccines, and we thank everyone who has rolled up their sleeves to keep themselves and each other healthy.
“We also extend our deepest gratitude to our immunization rollout team and all the health-care workers who have been a part of the largest mass vaccination program in B.C.’s history.
"It’s by getting vaccinated – our best defence against COVID-19 – and following public health measures that it is now time to carefully ease many COVID-19 restrictions while keeping key protective measures in place. These inspiring collaborations in our province, across the country and throughout the world are helping us weather this storm.
"At the same time, we must remember that the pandemic isn’t over. We must not let our guard down. Let’s continue to work together to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us.”