Dr. Bonnie Henry co-writes new book about the first 4 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic

·2 min read

A book by B.C.'s top doctor that recounts the first four weeks of her response to the COVID-19 pandemic is set to publish next spring.

The book, Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe: Four Weeks that Shaped a Pandemic, will offer Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's recollections during the pandemic's surreal start last March.

At the time, B.C. had already recorded several cases and its long-term care homes started suffering deadly outbreaks.

Henry quickly gained international recognition for her calm and empathetic response to the pandemic, including a briefing where she fought back tears while announcing an outbreak at a seniors' care centre.

The book is co-authored with Henry's sister, Lynn Henry, who is the publishing director of Knopf Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.

Allen Lane, Penguin Random House Canada's non-fiction imprint, is set to publish the book on March 9, 2021. The publisher did not immediately respond to a request for comment

Lynn, who is based in Toronto, travelled to B.C. on March 12 for a long-planned visit, five days before the province declared a public health emergency.

Lynn Henry
Lynn Henry

"For the four ensuing weeks, Lynn had rare insight into the whirlwind with its moments of agony and gravity as well as its occasional episodes of levity and grace," the book description reads.

"Both a global story and a family story, this tale combines Lynn's observations and knowledge of Bonnie's personal and professional background with Bonnie's recollections of how and why decisions were made."

B.C. became a model for other provinces in the spring when it successfully flattened the curve of rising COVID cases.

But Henry has garnered criticism in recent months with the virus surging once more, including her response to schools and long-term care homes.

It's not Henry's first go at publishing.

In 2009, she wrote the book Soap and Water & Common Sense, a guide to fighting coronavirus, cold, flus and pandemics. The book was re-issued this year after Henry's public profile catapulted.