LETTER: Faith in Bonnie Henry has been shaken

Like most, I’m exhausted by the pandemic: the endless variants, the stream of bad news, and the uncertainty of when this war against the virus will end. And while I remain a steadfast supporter of every public health measures, I am concerned about the inconsistent messaging of Dr. Bonnie Henry.

I’m not saying this because I believe the pandemic is over for the unvaccinated, but because I believe that the chief public health officer needs to understand the harm that is being done to our mental health.

From day one, I’ve put my faith in Dr. Henry, however, over time, that faith has wavered. The recent COVID update and restrictions followed by a host of associated amendments, have chipped away from her credibility.

Medical science may be about saving everyone. Even by that measure, we are failing as the burden of untreated disease and psychological strain accumulates. Even worse, though, we may be overlooking the long-term consequences when we fail to reward people for compliance with public health measures. Will they be willing to listen to the advice of scientists the next time there is an emergency? If they don’t, that will be the real cost of delaying adequate pandemic restrictions and communicating them effectively.

William Perry