One ray of light in the COVID-19 situation has been provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, whose calm and reassuring manner during daily news conferences has made her an unlikely hero to many people in B.C. and beyond.
She has inspired a fan group on Twitter (called the Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club). Meanwhile, her sign language interpreter, named Nigel Howard, is collecting accolades.
Now she has been immortalized in a song and music video, “Dear Dr. Bonnie”, created by B.C. residents Amy Shier and Vicki Ferguson.
“We love our BC Provincial Health Officer and really wanted to let her know!” reads the introduction to the song, which is set to the tune of “Dear Theodosia” from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
The melody might be familiar to fans of the show, but the lyrics are all Shier and Ferguson’s. They pay tribute not only to Henry, but to provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix, another face of the coronavirus crisis in B.C.
“You will lead us through self-isolation, we’ll work from home for you, order in groceries too,” the duo sing to Henry. They praise her compassion, and poke some fun at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, noting that when his news conferences are late they have to wait to hear Henry’s daily updates (“It isn’t great,” they lament).
The pair also praise Health Minister Adrian Dix, complimenting him on his fluent French. In 2013, when Dix was leader of the B.C. NDP party, he lost the provincial election to the Liberals under Christy Clark, and the pair sing of what might have been: “It’s too bad, you lost to Christy all those years ago, there was so much then we didn’t know.”
The bulk of the song, however, is devoted to Henry. “When you speak, it’s from the heart, and we know you are so smart,” the friends sing, finishing with the hope that a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus will soon be developed.
Henry has been widely praised for her fact-based, calm, and clear responses to the coronavirus crisis.
“[Henry] just cares so much about how bad this is going to be and she just wants to help us mitigate that and we just really appreciate that so much,” Shier has said.
She also leaves people with one piece of advice, after suggesting they retweet the video: “WASH YOUR HANDS.”