The book, Be kind, be calm, be safe: four weeks that shaped a pandemic, will offer the memorabilia of the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, during the surreal start of the pandemic last March. At the time, British Columbia had already recorded several cases and its long-term care homes began to suffer from deadly epidemics.
Henry quickly gained international recognition for her calm and empathetic response to the pandemic, including a briefing where she held back tears while announcing an outbreak at an elderly care center.
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, the non-fiction publisher of Penguin Random House Canada, is expected 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, traveled to British Columbia on March 12 for a long planned visit, five days before the province declared a public health emergency.
“For the next four weeks, Lynn got a rare glimpse of the whirlwind with its moments of agony and gravity as well as occasional episodes of lightness and grace,” the book’s description reads.
“Both a global story and a family story, this story combines Lynn’s observations and knowledge of Bonnie’s personal and professional background with Bonnie’s memories of how and why decisions were made.
British Columbia became a model for other provinces in the spring when it managed to flatten the curve of increasing COVID cases.
But Henry has drawn criticism in recent months with the upsurge in the virus, including its response to schools and long-term care homes.
This is not Henry’s first attempt at publishing.
In 2009 she wrote the book Soap and water and common sense, a guide to fighting coronaviruses, colds, flu and pandemics. The book was republished this year after Henry’s public profile was catapulted.