It's likely been a stressful past few days for B.C.'s provincial health officer as the province deals with the spread of the coronavirus. Dr. Bonnie Henry broke down crying multiple times during a press conference about COVID-19 cases in the province. This came as an outbreak was declared at a care centre for elderly people.
On March 7, Henry spoke at a press conference in Vancouver about new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and gave more details on previously announced cases as well.
The province's health officer became emotional at multiple times about the impact the virus has on senior citizens, the likelihood of community transmission and her past experiences with outbreaks.
Two new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. are residents of the Lynn Valley Care Centre who likely contracted it from a worker there.
The centre is under an outbreak protocol so visitors are restricted and measures are being taken there to make sure staff and residents are safe.
When talking about those cases, Henry was overcome with emotion which shows just how much this is affecting her.
"I'm calling on all of us in B.C. to do what we need to do to protect our seniors," Henry said, her voice wavering.
Henry urged others to consider having virtual gatherings and not coming together in person especially if elderly people would be present.
Then she paused for more than 20 seconds, speechless while she fought back tears of compassion.
"Now's the time to put some distance between us to keep our germs to ourselves," Henry said after she could speak again.
She also teared up when she talked about her previous experiences with outbreaks like SARS and Ebola.
"It's a very difficult time, and I'm feeling for the families that are dealing with this right now,” Henry told reporters. "Maybe I'm also a little bit tired."
Henry also said that another two new cases of the virus in the province are people in their 60s who were on the Grand Princess cruise ship from February 11 to February 21 that travelled to Mexico and back to California.
As of March 6, there have been 21 confirmed cases in B.C. and 51 across the country, according to the government of Canada.
However, those numbers could rise if more cases crop up and get confirmed by the government.
*Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.